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070 number to be available for cell phones from next year

TOKYO — The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has announced a plan to allow the PHS number 070 for regular cell phones from the latter half of next year.

A ministry spokesman said Thursday the decision was made to prevent a phone number shortage due to the rapid increase in the number of people who own two or more phone devices, Sankei Shimbun reported.

Due to the popularity of smartphones, as of the end of March, there were only 9.1 million unassigned 090 and 080 numbers, the ministry said. Around 70 million numbers will be available for cell phone use, Sankei reported.

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