SoftBank to end PHS service for general use in July 2020

SoftBank Corp. announced on April 19, 2018 that it will stop providing personal handphone system services to general users in July 2020, putting an end to PHS services in the country.

Amid the widespread use of smartphones, SoftBank, a unit of SoftBank Group Corp., is the only company that currently provides the PHS service, first launched in Japan in 1995. The company has been selling the handsets under the low-price brand of Ymobile.

SoftBank stopped accepting new contracts for individual users in March.

New contracts for PHS services for inter-device communication such as at vending machines and parking meters, will not be provided after March 2019 but the company will continue the service for existing users.

At its peak in 1997, around 7 million contracts were signed for PHS services, but the figure has been on the decline due to a decrease in demand.