Pager service ends in Japan
NHK -- Oct 01
The last remaining pager service in Japan is being terminated on Monday.

The first pager service was launched in Japan in 1968. The number of subscribers peaked in 1996 at more than 10 million.

Young people liked to send messages using numbers. For example, "0840" could be read as "ohayo," or "good morning."

Tokyo Telemessage, the only pager service provider in Japan, says the number of users in the Tokyo metropolitan area had declined to less than 1,500.

The company says the frequencies allocated for pagers will be used by local governments for their disaster radio services.

1990年代に一世を風靡(ふうび)したポケットベルが30日でサービスを終了し、半世紀にわたる歴史に幕を閉じます。 1968年にサービスが始まったポケットベルは、固定電話から特定の番号に電話をすると端末が鳴る仕組みです。「0840」で「おはよう」、「14106」で「愛してる」など、数字の語呂合わせでメッセージを送り合うことができ、若者を中心に人気が広がって、1996年には契約数が1000万件を超えました。しかし、携帯電話の普及とともに利用者数が減少し、今では1500人を下回りました。全国で唯一、ポケットベルの通信サービスを展開していた東京テレメッセージは30日深夜から電波を順次、止める予定です。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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