Q13An advanced mobile-phone economy By August 2007, how many mobile phone subscribers were there in Japan?
(a) 83.85 million
(b) 103.85 million
(c) 108.85 million

A13 I There were only 2.13 million mobile phone subscribers in Japan as of March 1994 but, by March 1996, the number had risen to 11.71 million, and by March 2000 to 56.85 million. As of August 2007, there were 103.85 million subscribers. Therefore, the correct answer is (b). The rapid increase in subscribers can be put down to the miniaturization and lighter weight of mobile phones; the introduction of advanced Internet services such as i-mode and EZweb; the introduction of advanced handset functionality, including games, cameras, music players and television; and the reduction in mobile phone charges.

Recently, new services have been launched such as Mobile Suica (Super Urban Intelligent Card) that can be used instead of season and other train tickets, and provides the functionality of electronic money and credit cards, allowing mobile phones to serve as wallets. Mobile phones are now evolving from devices used just for making calls to indispensable tools for daily life.