The era of Japanese pagers, which has lasted for almost 50 years, is coming to an end. According to SoraNews24, the country's last pager operator, Tokyo Telemessage, has announced that it will no longer service it from September 2019. We are talking about 1, 500 subscribers in Tokyo and several adjacent regions, still using this surprisingly archaic communication device by today's standards.
In the Land of the Rising Sun, pagers became known as "poke-beru" or "pocket bell". It is worth recalling that with the help of these small devices, it was possible to send short messages over radio communication channels. Their popularity peaked in 1996. At that time, up to 10 million pagers were registered in Japan, which significantly exceeded the number of mobile phone owners.
However, as mobile phones became more available and their capabilities expanded, the fate of pagers was sealed: in 2007, the largest telecommunications company NTT, which once introduced pagers for the first time, stopped serving them.
And yet, no matter how sad it may be, the remaining users of pagers will have to come to terms with their departure, because the last device rolled off the assembly line of Tokyo Telemessage almost 20 years ago.