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Major disruption hits SoftBank mobile service in Japan

SoftBank Group Corp. suffered a major disruption to its telecommunication service Thursday that lasted for hours and may have affected millions of users across Japan.

The problem came less than two weeks before the telecommunication giant’s mobile unit, SoftBank Corp, is scheduled to go public in Japan’s largest ever initial public offering.

Users began experiencing problems with phone and data connections around 1:39 p.m., and the issues continued throughout the afternoon until gradually being resolved from around 6:00 p.m., according to SoftBank.

An issue had been found at one of its switching facilities, it said. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is also investigating the cause of the problem.

The service disruption also caused some delays in parcel delivery services.

SoftBank, the country’s third-largest carrier by user base, had more than 40 million contracts as of the end of September including those with its low-cost Y!mobile brand.

Users of third-party firms that utilize SoftBank’s network, so-called mobile virtual network operators, were also affected. MVNOs that use the network include Line Mobile and Mineo.

SoftBank plans to raise up to 2.6 trillion yen ($ 23 billion) by listing the mobile unit on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, taking the largest IPO title from the 2.2 trillion yen listing of government-owned Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. in 1987.

All — Kyodo News+

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