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Wednesday, 28th March 2012
In Japan Travel News,

Mobile connections to be brought to Tokyo subway

Train passengers using the Tokyo subway lines will soon be able to use their mobile phones to receive calls and send messages between the stations.

The three most popular carriers in the country - NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and Softbank - will be setting up the network from the end of the week, PC Advisor reported.

People connected to these networks will be able to use their mobile phones to make phone calls and transfer data through their devices while in the tunnels, as well as when the train is stopped in the station.

A joint statement from the carriers stated that the first stretch of the network will run from Shinjuku as it is a major hub for both business people and shoppers.

They are planning to roll out the network across more of the subway over the rest of the year.

The Tokyo subway is one of the most extensive in the world, covering 13 lines and stopping at 274 stops around the city and into its suburban areas.

First operating in 1927, the network has expanded to see 8.7 million journeys every day.

While the service is being introduced to make it easier for passengers to communicate while they travel on the public transport network, there are some people who feel the service will bring to an end the small haven that is offered from the many people who use their phones on the city's streets.

The public transport system also generally requests that people refrain from using their mobile phones while travelling, with the Metro currently asking people to put their phones to silent mode and refrain from talking while in the carriage.

In addition, they are asked to switch the device off if they are located close to the courtesy seats used by elderly, infirm and pregnant passengers. 

Written by Susan Ballion

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