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Thread: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

  1. #21
    Fit via vi Virgil's Avatar
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    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    I was going to make a snarky comment about you being a Samsung representative, and then I remembered that the average salesman actually doesn't know dick about the hardware they are selling.
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  2. #22

    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    While it's definitely the best phone I've ever had overall, but for a whole bunch of reasons (e.g. Touchwiz), I'd absolutely jump ship to another, more developer-friendly brand if they had OLED displays too, but Samsung are hogging them at the moment, the jerks. Once you get used to infinite contrast, instant pixel response without blur, and genuinely wide view angles without the image noticably shifting in hue or brightness, there's no going back. It's like the glory days of CRT again, but with, y'know, resolution too, and no need for the panel to be deeper than it is wide and weigh a ton. This is the future of display tech for the next decade or more. Give it 3-5 years to get the fab costs down and they'll outnumber LCD in shipping devices.

    Okay, so this looks promising. Runs over DoCoMo network too so should be pretty wide coverage:
    プラン・料金について | b-mobile SIM 高速定額

    Are those voice charges normal for Japan? Unlimited 3G/4G data plus voice for ~$30 a month seems alright, even if there's no included talk time, but then I'm comparing based on Australia, where data costs a fortune and there's no such thing as "Unlimited" for mobile data, even over 3G.
    Last edited by Amleth; May 26th, 2015 at 11:51. Reason: typo

  3. #23

    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    The voice charges are the same for Softbank - 20 yen/30 seconds.

  4. #24
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    That seems a bit on the cheap side, but otherwise fine. I mean I pay about 70$ a month for unlimited data on softbank but that includes my iPhone 6 as well. The voice charges were pretty normal.
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  5. #25
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    I pay $50 a month, but I paid for my phone in full at the beginning.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Teach them something new?? Are you mad? All you do in Japan is rehash the same stuff over and over for 15 years. Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  6. #26

    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    Sounds right. According to two other who have mvno plans, that's about what they pay a month as well.

  7. #27

    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    Looks like I'll be diving into the MVNOs, wish me luck.

    Unfortunately I have a slightly odd phone: a South Korean Note 4 S-LTE (SM-N916K). This means not a ton of band overlap. Looks like two LTE bands from Docomo and Possibly 4 from Softbank (although I think 1 of those may be primarily operated by Y Mobile?). Google searches for "[telecom company] coverage map" have been surprisingly successful although not entirely useful until I receive more precise placement details.

    My current plan is to pick up a SIM off amazon.jp and try to activate it once I arrive. Something like this b-mobile SIM.

  8. #28

    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    On a related note, where's a good place to get a pre-paid data SIM in Akihabara? (Or Tokyo in-general, or near Keio Plaza?)

    What should I expect to pay and what should I expect to get?

  9. #29
    read half. react. BifCarbet's Avatar
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    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    Do you mean for long-term use of to hold you over for the first week?
    I'm swinging by Softbank Global Rental counter at Narita to pick up a rental SIM I reserved in advance.
    車庫 B1F

  10. #30

    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    Yeah, to hold me over. Would probably be more like three weeks to get B-Mobile working so seemed a good idea. I hear pre-paid data SIMs aren't that hard to find, but pricing can vary a lot. I assume Akihabara would be the cheapest place to buy due to competition, plus I plan to swing through there anyway, but I was hoping someone might be able to recommend a particular shop or chain for good pricing?

    So they might also sell them at Narita? Probably not terribly cheaply, though, given the constant flow of tourists to exploit...

  11. #31

    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amleth View Post
    I assume Akihabara would be the cheapest place to buy due to competition, plus I plan to swing through there anyway, but I was hoping someone might be able to recommend a particular shop or chain for good pricing?
    You won't find much in Akiba that you won't find anywhere else. And they'll have the same prices 90% as other branches 90% of the time. I don't recall a lot of pre-paid SIM vendors in Akiba to begin with, so you might just want to pick up a cheap on in Narita...

  12. #32

    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by BifCarbet View Post
    Do you mean for long-term use of to hold you over for the first week?
    I'm swinging by Softbank Global Rental counter at Narita to pick up a rental SIM I reserved in advance.
    I'd check with your program coordinator to make sure this is okay. ESID, but last year we didn't have time to do anything at Narita but go through customs/immigration before hopping on the bus.

  13. #33

    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    Update: I'm now using my Note 4 with the B Mobile plan mentioned above, and have 4G and voice. I even have mobile hotspot and tethering working, so I can use my laptop on it too. It wasn't even that hard to apply, and I paid with my credit card from home, so you don't need a Japanese one (as I'd read a few places) and thus can apply the day you arrive if you can read the website, otherwise you'll need your supervisor to help you. Once the paperwork is accepted, which might take a day or two, the SIM is supposed to arrive in just two days. Mine arrived on a Saturday morning, and was indeed exactly two days after the application went through; yay weekend deliveries.

    So, for anyone else looking this up, YES, now you quite likely CAN use your own phone in Japan and have full functionality, and there's quite a few companies that'll sell you a SIM-only plan, but the applications are all online-only. Just make sure your handset supports at least one of the bands your intended carrier uses. B Mobile uses the NTT DoCoMo network, but there are other providers using Sofbank, etc. As long as you do your homework it's very likely you can make it work, assuming, of course, you have an unlocked handset, so most Americans need not apply...

  14. #34
    Fit via vi Virgil's Avatar
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    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    Also dependent on your area too. I imagine you could run into some problems in inaka.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    Frigga please.
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    Gross. I hate people and their sexy times.

  15. #35
    Fit via vi Virgil's Avatar
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    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    Just a guess though. Just talking out of the old asse
    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    Frigga please.
    RIP Virgil of 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Gross. I hate people and their sexy times.

  16. #36
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amleth View Post
    As long as you do your homework it's very likely you can make it work, assuming, of course, you have an unlocked handset, so most Americans need not apply...
    FYI AT&T unlocks your handsets after 6months to 1 year. (You have to apply online)

    The Verizon CDMA iPhone is locked to its CDMA network but the sim tray is unlocked. (So yes you can throw any SIM card in and it will work provided that it supports the various bands.)

    Americans can get in on this as well.
    Everything I have ever said was a lie, and that's the truth.

  17. #37

    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Also dependent on your area too. I imagine you could run into some problems in inaka.
    Entirely possible, but I am actually pretty deep in the inaka and haven't found anywhere without coverage yet. I thought I had the other night in a neighbouring town but my phone had instead "lost" its mobile network operator setting somehow. Reselected NTT and all was well. NTT's coverage seems pretty good unless you live on a tiny island with no cell towers or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by ihatefall View Post
    FYI AT&T unlocks your handsets after 6months to 1 year. (You have to apply online)

    The Verizon CDMA iPhone is locked to its CDMA network but the sim tray is unlocked. (So yes you can throw any SIM card in and it will work provided that it supports the various bands.)

    Americans can get in on this as well.
    I said most Americans need not apply. Yes, it will be okay in some special cases, but it's much more likely you can't do it than you can if you bought your handset from an American carrier. Worth at least looking into though if you really like your current phone.

  18. #38
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    Soo. The new guy brought his iPhone 6 unlocked, and is getting a uqmobile sim plan. We'll see in a couple of days when it gets here how the speed is
    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.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    Things still going smoothly with your N4 and B-mobile? Is the plan you're on really unlimited? Just curious if you use that as your only connection, or do you also have wired at home?

    I'm thinking of getting an N4 (n910c) to use when I take up residence an hour north of Kyoto in a few weeks. I have an N2 (AT&T) right now and used it a couple years ago in Japan with a b-mobile SIM without any problems. However, there are no LTE bands that match, so I'd only get 3G.

    After reading this, I have more confidence that Note 4 will work fine, so I'm trying to figure out if I should go with OCN (Docomo towers), b-mobile, or some service that uses SB towers if there is one. Only B1(2100) matches up on b-mobile. In addition to B1, B3(1800) matches up with OCN, but that's only in the Toumeihan area, which I'm assuming is the area of the Toumei expressway, so that doesn't do me much good. With Softbank B1, B3, and B8(900) match up with the n910c I'd get. (If I went with the n910g version as you have, looks like B28(700) also matches up with OCN.) Anyway, I don't know if one would actually get better coverage or anything, but maybe being not far from Kyoto it wouldn't matter for me... though I will be in somewhat rural settings in the mountains.

    Any thoughts? Advice? Cheers!

  20. #40
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    Default Re: SIM options in Japan for voice and data if bringing your own phone?

    In case this helps future searchers, I ended up going with an IIJMio 5gb high speed data + phone # plan (+ about 100 mb/day low speed + 100 mb sms=~¿100,000? messages). I also got a used Japanese N3. SIM words fine in AT&T N2 while I'm in city, but in countryside I don't get any signal at one of the places where I work. However, I do with Japanese N3, so it's just as well that I ended up getting that one. Speeds are quite fast in town and alright in countryside. Seems like an alright setup.

    So my conclusion is that inexpensive (but high quality) used phone from Amazon or Yahoo auctions Japan or other used shop plus an MVNO plan is a pretty good deal. 3,100円/mo. + 20,000円 for used Note 3. (Of course calling costs extra, but I rarely use regular phone of course.)

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