Pager ser­vice in Ja­pan is fi­nally com­ing to an end

Tehran Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

Af­ter nearly five decades, Ja­pan is fi­nally end­ing pagers for good. The last ser­vice provider in the coun­try, Tokyo Telemes­sage, an­nounced that it will ter­mi­nate its ser­vice in Septem­ber 2019, ac­cord­ing to

So­raNews24. The com­pany said about

1,500 peo­ple still use pagers in its ser­vice area, which cov­ers Tokyo and sev­eral neigh­bor­ing re­gions.

Pagers, which are known as “poke-beru” or “pocket bell” in Ja­pan, cer­tainly had their day. The small de­vices that send short mes­sages via ra­dio waves reached peak pop­u­lar­ity in 1996 when as many as 10 mil­lion units were in use in Ja­pan. Pagers were quickly over­taken by cell­phones once the de­vices be­came widely avail­able. Ma­jor telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions firm NTT -- the com­pany that first in­tro­duced pagers in the coun­try -- dis­con­tin­ued ser­vice for the de­vices in 2007. Now over a decade later, Tokyo Telemes­sage is fol­low­ing suit and pulling the plug on its last users.

While the re­main­ing 1,500 sub­scribers are likely to be dis­ap­pointed to learn their pagers’ days are num­bered, they prob­a­bly should have seen this com­ing. Tokyo Telemes­sage stopped man­u­fac­tur­ing pagers de­vice 20 years ago. That said, old tech­nol­ogy has a way of stick­ing around in Ja­pan. Faxes are still a pop­u­lar means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion in the coun­try, and you can still find cas­sette tapes in con­ve­nience stores.

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