The three largest mobile players in Japan – NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank Corp – revealed their RCS-based +Message service reached 32.5 million users at the end of October, using the occasion to kick off a joint promotional campaign to convert more customers.

Their Let’s Use It Together campaign will award new users of +Message with points from each operator’s respective loyalty programme.

In a statement, the operators noted the service is now compatible with public personal identification with 12-digit My Number cards, allowing users to verify their identity online for opening a bank account or applying for a credit card.

The companies added they are working on various initiatives to make the rich communication environment more secure and convenient.

Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank Corp launched the messaging service in 2018 to compete directly against the popular Line app, which is a near-monopoly messaging platform in the country.

Data from GSMA Intelligence showed the operators ended September with a combined total of nearly 180 million mobile connections.

Line closed 2021 with 89 million users in Japan.

The +Message platform, which conforms to global RCS standards, offers up to 2,730 characters per message compared with the maximum of 70 characters per SMS.