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Message Service Line Entering Carrier Business in Japan

  • Associated Press

FILE - Figures of Cony the bunny, one of Line's characters, are displayed at the Line Friends flagship shop in Seoul, South Korea. Line, founded five years ago, already has a billion global registered users.

FILE - Figures of Cony the bunny, one of Line's characters, are displayed at the Line Friends flagship shop in Seoul, South Korea. Line, founded five years ago, already has a billion global registered users.

Line Corp., which offers a popular mobile message and online voice-call service, is entering the mobile carrier business in Japan, and hopes to keep growing as a platform for news, music, live streaming and online shopping.

Line, founded five years ago, already has a billion global registered users, 215 million of them active each month on average. That makes it bigger on mobile than Facebook or Twitter in Japan. Line executives outlined the company's future strategy Thursday at a suburban theater.

Jun Masuda, chief strategy and marketing officer, told reporters that the mobile carrier service will be launched in a few months, starting at an affordable 500 yen ($4.40) a month and offering reliable connectivity using the telecommunications infrastructure of major Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo.

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