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Thread: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

  1. #1

    Default Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    Hi.

    So I have a Iphone 5c (from sprint), that was locked, but I have recently unlocked it internationally, for sim cards only.

    So, I thought I'd try a sim card on the phone to see if it works before I go out and buy a Japanese phone. (I'd rather not have to do that unless I have to). I want to ask if anyone here has any experience using a sim card with their unlocked phone? How did it go? Do you have any recommendations for where to get sims cards?

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by JPNLKatie; July 20th, 2016 at 12:07.

  2. #2
    Formerly the Hot One OatsCurrySummer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by JPNLKatie View Post
    Hi.

    So I have a Iphone 5c (from sprint), that was locked, but I have recently unlocked it internationally, for sim cards only.

    So, I thought I'd try a sim card on the phone to see if it works before I go out and buy a Japanese phone. (I'd rather not have to do that unless I have to). I want to ask if anyone here has any experience using a sim card with their unlocked phone? How did it go? Do you have any recommendations for where to get sims cards?

    Thanks in advance
    I caused my co-ordinator hours of stress and had to sit in an electronics store with the same thirty second theme song playing in the background for three hours straight because I did this. Just shell out for a new phone and don't make your BOE's job harder than it has to be.
    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    That's the best thing about having books on your phone etc. You can read without having to be self-conscious of what you're reading
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    We're in a country where salarymen read doraemon on the train, I wouldn't worry either way.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by OatsCurrySummer View Post
    I caused my co-ordinator hours of stress and had to sit in an electronics store with the same thirty second theme song playing in the background for three hours straight because I did this. Just shell out for a new phone and don't make your BOE's job harder than it has to be.

    Hmm. I can't go out and get the sims card myself? Anyway, after all the waiting, did you get the sims card? Did it work? Why did it take you 3 hours just to get a sims card?
    Last edited by JPNLKatie; July 20th, 2016 at 12:17.

  4. #4
    Formerly the Hot One OatsCurrySummer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    I did get one, but only because my co-ordinator had to makes lots of phone calls and do research since my language skills were next to nothing when I arrived. I feel so bad for making her do all that (and always make sure she gets omiyage when I leave the island as a show of eternal indebtedness)
    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    That's the best thing about having books on your phone etc. You can read without having to be self-conscious of what you're reading
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    We're in a country where salarymen read doraemon on the train, I wouldn't worry either way.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by OatsCurrySummer View Post
    I did get one, but only because my co-ordinator had to makes lots of phone calls and do research since my language skills were next to nothing when I arrived. I feel so bad for making her do all that (and always make sure she gets omiyage when I leave the island as a show of eternal indebtedness)

    Did it work though? The sims card? What kind of phone did you have? My Japanese level is intermediate/advanced so I can handle this by myself if I need to.

  6. #6
    Formerly the Hot One OatsCurrySummer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    iPhone 5S, and yes it works. 10GB data a month with PlaySIM (under the docomo network) for $30 a month. Then I have a separate flip phone with unlimited Japan-wide calling with YMobile! for $25 a month.
    For $55 a month, 10GB data and unlimited calling is not a bad deal I think.
    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    That's the best thing about having books on your phone etc. You can read without having to be self-conscious of what you're reading
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    We're in a country where salarymen read doraemon on the train, I wouldn't worry either way.

  7. #7
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    You still want to use a 5c in 2016? Why not just use carrier pigeons?
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by JPNLKatie View Post
    Hmm. I can't go out and get the sims card myself? Anyway, after all the waiting, did you get the sims card? Did it work? Why did it take you 3 hours just to get a sims card?
    You can, but the point is, if you're asking here first, then your japanese probably isn't good enough to manage it without your supervisor around. Also, it has to be done at the bigger stores as many of the more rural outlets of places like say BicCamera don't deal in sim cards.
    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.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    You still want to use a 5c in 2016? Why not just use carrier pigeons?
    I don't see why I need to upgrade. My phone works perfectly fine. Goes on the internet, lets me check my email, lets me text, listen to music, play the occasional game app. That's all I need it to do. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Why should I waste $400 on an upgraded phone, that is what, a little bit shinier? a little bit faster? Not worth it in my opinion.

    Then again, I'm very abnormal for someone of my generation, as you already know. I didn't get my first cellphone until right before I graduated high school in 2011, and that was just a slider cellphone. It was actually my mother that forced me to upgrade to the iphone 5c a couple years back. lol

  10. #10
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by JPNLKatie View Post
    I graduated high school in 2011
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Haha, well this proves my point even more. Even people that are in older generations than me are more into smart phones than I am.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    You can, but the point is, if you're asking here first, then your japanese probably isn't good enough to manage it without your supervisor around. Also, it has to be done at the bigger stores as many of the more rural outlets of places like say BicCamera don't deal in sim cards.
    I'm asking here first because I don't really know much about sims cards. Also, I'm not in Japan yet, so I can't actually go out and physically shop around myself. My Japanese is probably good enough to do this on my own, but I will probably have some issues, nonetheless. It also never hurts to ask people for advice about things you don't know much about, especially since those people have probably dealt with this situation themselves before.
    Last edited by JPNLKatie; July 20th, 2016 at 12:55.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    Yes, you can just get sim-only plans fairly easily. The biggest issue is if you're phone's radios are compatible with the Japanese carriers' bands. Look up what specific model of 5s you have and compare it to the big three's LTE bands. IIRC from the 5s and up they're mostly fine (I haven't checked myself) - the Softbank, AU, and Docomo are still fairly strict about forcing their phones and 2 year contracts on people, but the MVNO (resellers) use their networks.

    You can always get a "sim-free" phone and get a similar sim-only plan later on if your 5s doesn't work. There's a fairly wide variety of options now, especially compared with 2012-2013.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    Yes, you can just get sim-only plans fairly easily. The biggest issue is if you're phone's radios are compatible with the Japanese carriers' bands. Look up what specific model of 5s you have and compare it to the big three's LTE bands. IIRC from the 5s and up they're mostly fine (I haven't checked myself) - the Softbank, AU, and Docomo are still fairly strict about forcing their phones and 2 year contracts on people, but the MVNO (resellers) use their networks.

    You can always get a "sim-free" phone and get a similar sim-only plan later on if your 5s doesn't work. There's a fairly wide variety of options now, especially compared with 2012-2013.
    I have a 5c actually, not a 5s. The model is A1456. I tried looking this up earlier but couldn't find anything on this particular model of the 5c.
    Last edited by JPNLKatie; July 20th, 2016 at 14:23.

  15. #15
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan


    Woah, this link was super helpful! Thanks Ini!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    Ok, I have decided I'm going to try the Sims card thing when I arrive. I have a question though. I will still have service with sprint up til August 20th, but I plan to get the international sim as soon as possible after I arrive at my placement. Will the overlap in service be an issue? I don't really understand much about how sims cards work, but I'm guessing the sprint (domestic) service will be disabled once I remove the sprint sim? I just don't want to turn airplane mode off on my phone after I insert the Japanese sim and then get hit with international roaming fees from sprint.
    Last edited by JPNLKatie; July 21st, 2016 at 00:16.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by JPNLKatie View Post
    Ok, I have decided I'm going to try the Sims card thing when I arrive...
    Shouldn't be an issue - just take the Sprint card out of your phone and et voilĂ  - the phone can't connect with the Sprint credentials. In fact, with out a sim card, you can connect to any network - but only to emergency services.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    Hey again. Just a thread update.

    I've been researching sims like crazy over the last couple days and I think I pretty much got it figured out. Appling for and obtaining a SIMS card is a lot easier than people made it out to be. I have pretty much decided on this sim from bic camera: http://www.biccamera.com/bc/disp/CSf...ODS_NO=1993050

    I'm going for the BIC Camera, IIJ sim, with Data + Voice. The only thing left to decide now is to either get the 6GB data/month plan for 2,220 yen/month, or the 10GB data/month plan for 3,260 yen/month. I'm not sure which one to go for. Which do you guys recommend?
    Last edited by JPNLKatie; July 25th, 2016 at 15:42.

  20. #20
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Unlocked Iphone with Sim card in Japan

    depends if you will need/want to tether your laptop and/or tablet. if you can use the school internet while at work 6gb is probably enough. if you are sharing it accross multiple devices on a regular basis you'll probably want 10
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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