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Thread: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

  1. #41
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    I did airplane mode with a pocket wifi for a few months. (They asked us for a credit card, I don't know if you can do it with out one.) It wasn't prefect but it got me through to the 5S. Maybe the 6 will come out earlier.


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  2. #42
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Where did you get your pocket wifi device from and how much was it per month? I wouldn't mind going that route, but I'm just worried about not having an actual phone number. WiFi calling through LINE or FaceTime audio would be fine for contacting home, but if anyone else in Japan needs to get ahold of me then I'm in trouble lol.

  3. #43
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Quote Originally Posted by mark17820 View Post
    Where did you get your pocket wifi device from and how much was it per month? I wouldn't mind going that route, but I'm just worried about not having an actual phone number. WiFi calling through LINE or FaceTime audio would be fine for contacting home, but if anyone else in Japan needs to get ahold of me then I'm in trouble lol.
    We bought our pocket wifi's online used for 3000 yen. They weren't LTE but it was only for a few months so I didn't care. It was 5000 yen a month with no contract just month to month. A little pricier then the contract version but once again no two year contract.
    You could look into getting a used one back home (unlocked and compatible) and getting a data SIM card, usually 2000-3000 a month.

    You can get a local Japanese phone number for 1000 yen a month. I would get it just in case, but in my experience you won't use it often.

    Keep in mind, your doing a lot of planning and we don't know the release date of the 6 yet. iPhones used to come out in July, maybe the release cycle will move forward?
    Wait until the WWDC.


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  4. #44
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    When I came they asked me if I wanted to get a local land line. I promptly said no, and asked them to take me to the store that day. Mind you, I setup my cellphone with my credit card at first just to make sure I could get it asap.
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  5. #45
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    considering how every year all the new people complain about how hard it is to raise the 2-3000 dollars start up money you are advised to bring why the hell are any of you considering dropping vast amounts of cash on an unlocked iphone before you leave?
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  6. #46
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    considering how every year all the new people complain about how hard it is to raise the 2-3000 dollars start up money you are advised to bring why the hell are any of you considering dropping vast amounts of cash on an unlocked iphone before you leave?
    ESID?


    Seriously though AMEN to this.
    Any until the release date of the 6 is announced why bother worrying?



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  7. #47
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Report Claims Apple Will Launch 4.7-Inch iPhone 6 in August, Larger Model in September - Mac Rumors

    Although this is a rumor is what I was talking about.




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  8. #48
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Also if you have Tmobile, they give you free 3G and cheap calling while in Japan. Could be a good option for those holding out for the new phones.
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  9. #49

    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    That's sick, but I think it would be tough for people from school/work to call cause it'll be an international number for them right?

  10. #50
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    You could do the local Skype number thing, it's 1000 yen a month.
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  11. #51
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Does anyone else here use GoogleVoice? I use it for all of my calls home. It's not a substitute for a phone in Japan since it works poorly on cellphones (at least in my experience) and wouldn't be feasible for domestic calls in Japan anyway. But as a Skype alternative I really like it.

    Pros:
    -can connect to any phone in the US & Canada any time for free with no limitations aside from needing a computer/microphone
    -provides a dedicated cellphone number based in the US so people can call/text me for free anytime and it alerts me in my gmail inbox
    -can send and receive text messages via gmail, which is convenient since it's usually faster to type
    -great quality calls, dropped calls and technical issues are extremely rare (On the other hand, Skype seems to hate me)

    Cons:
    -requires a US/Canada based number to sign up for a dedicated phone number, and you need a proxy to enter the setup page if you try to do it overseas
    -the GoogleVoice app for iPhone can't make phone calls for free, but you can use it for texts
    -you can use Talkatone for GoogleVoice to make calls, but the quality is terrible even if you have Wi-Fi (do not recommend)
    -charges money for any calls to places besides the US or Canada

  12. #52
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    You can't use talkatone anymore - google disabled third-party access to voice, unfortunately. I should probably download the google voice app to text since the built-in iPhone mail app sucks a lot, but it has such terrible reviews I haven't tried it yet.

  13. #53
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Quote Originally Posted by therealwindycity View Post
    You can't use talkatone anymore - google disabled third-party access to voice, unfortunately. I should probably download the google voice app to text since the built-in iPhone mail app sucks a lot, but it has such terrible reviews I haven't tried it yet.
    Oh right! I forgot about that. Goes to show that I never used GoogleVoice on my phone.

  14. #54
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    I had that while I was in Japan. It helped for things like calling home, credit cards, airline, etc. But it sucks donkeyballs in the US. Most plans are unlimited voice these days, and google eats your MMS and makes you look like a dick for not responding to a message you never got.
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  15. #55
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Quote Originally Posted by zombiekelly View Post
    I had that while I was in Japan. It helped for things like calling home, credit cards, airline, etc. But it sucks donkeyballs in the US. Most plans are unlimited voice these days, and google eats your MMS and makes you look like a dick for not responding to a message you never got.
    Huh, good to know. I don't text much since I usually keep in touch with online chats. The phone part has worked great for me. It's nice being able to call up any US based company I need to for free in addition to regular calls back home. What I like most is that I can call at any time whereas Skype (unless you pay for it) requires a prearranged time for both of us to sign in.

  16. #56
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Quote Originally Posted by Ebi View Post
    Huh, good to know. I don't text much since I usually keep in touch with online chats. The phone part has worked great for me. It's nice being able to call up any US based company I need to for free in addition to regular calls back home. What I like most is that I can call at any time whereas Skype (unless you pay for it) requires a prearranged time for both of us to sign in.
    I pay for it, it makes my life MUCH easier for the 30$ a year.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  17. #57
    disobedient avocado Lianwen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    I pay for it, it makes my life MUCH easier for the 30$ a year.
    Me too. The newest versions of Office come with free 60min of Skype each month, but I pay for minutes.

    It just makes life so much easier, knowing I can pick up my Japanese phone and dial any number in America when I want to. I maybe go through 10$ of Skype credit every 6 months or so.
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  18. #58
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    I have Skype credits just in case but I ended up never using them. I'm not sure why but despite using Skype very little I always seem to have problems with it. Either crappy quality, dropped calls, log in issues, etc. And the quality through my iPhone has never been great either. I think I'll switch to Skype when I want to start doing regular video chats (like when I have kids) but for now making phone calls on the weekends with my computer has worked well enough. I can't call during weekdays anyways due to the timezone difference.

  19. #59

    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    So I have a phone-related question that fits in this thread but, from what I can tell, hasn't directly been answered yet.

    I have an unlocked iPhone 5s but, unlike OP, have no aspirations of getting a 6 or a new phone at all. Quite simply, will I be able to buy a SIM card that fits it and has the standard type of package available in most countries (you know.. text, calls, data).

    Two-year contracts are a no-go and data-only SIMs seem fairly cool but a bit impractical.

  20. #60

    Default Re: Phone Situation Upon Arriving

    Quote Originally Posted by Reassuring Skeleton View Post
    So I have a phone-related question that fits in this thread but, from what I can tell, hasn't directly been answered yet.

    I have an unlocked iPhone 5s but, unlike OP, have no aspirations of getting a 6 or a new phone at all. Quite simply, will I be able to buy a SIM card that fits it and has the standard type of package available in most countries (you know.. text, calls, data).

    Two-year contracts are a no-go and data-only SIMs seem fairly cool but a bit impractical.

    I wrote up an explanation of what you'd need to do elsewhere in this forum... and I'll quote it for you below.

    It depends on what carrier you get your iPhone from. Apple - iPhone 5 - View countries with supported LTE networks. Match up on with a Japanese carrier. Note that LTE is only 1/2 of the phone's connection (but the more important half - data. 3G is generally on UMTS and "4G LTE" is on FDD-LTE and TD-LTE)

    Double check with Japan Mobile Tech: Japanese mobile frequency bands and you'll be fine. (Beware, the second link isn't up to date - it doesn't have all of Docomo or AU 4G bands on it).

    Ideally you'll want a Model A1453 (iPhone 5s) or Model A1429 (iPhone 5). You could use these in either country, but outside of the major cities in the US you may not be able to connect to 3G/4G if/when/where it is available. If you have a US iPhone Model A1533 (GSM) or Model A1533 (CDMA), you can use Docomo pretty well (there are three usable bands - other carriers only have one).
    Check the model of your phone (first link) against the Japanese carrier bands (second link) to find out if you can get away with using your old phone or if you need a new one. Essentially this is for 3G/4G data connection (which is what you'll be using 98% of the time anyways.)

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