NTT DoCoMo's 3G network in part of central Tokyo was hit by trouble on Saturday resulting in problems for tens of thousands of users.

Problems with a switching board at a DoCoMo facility in the capital's Shibuya district caused the disruption, the carried said. Users in Shibuya and the nearby districts of Shinjuku, Okubo and Minami-Aoyama found calls and packet communications problems from 4:34am to 9:29pm local time on Saturday. NTT DoCoMo estimates around 92,600 subscribers were directly hit by the problem.

The areas involved are some of the busiest parts of Tokyo, popular with thousands of shoppers at the weekend.

NTT DoCoMo launched its WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) in 2001 becoming the first carrier in the world to offer commercial service based on the standard, which is now in use in many nations around the world.