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Japanese phones, WiFi & walkie-talkies: the definitive guide

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Sandy, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Yeah maybe its changed..., Its been close on two years since I was last in Japan.
     
  2. Funky

    Funky One of Us

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    Ta. First in Kyoto has excellent Internet included so may just organise for delivery for Myoko Kogen.
     
  3. Cynicor

    Cynicor Hard Yards

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    Just wanted to update the walkin-talkie side of the thread.
    All information is from my English-Japanese charades games with staff, so apologies if there is any misinformation.

    Certain strength walkies require a licence to operate. I am not sure of the wattage but in the shop I entered they were marked as 1km-2km, so I could only get 500m or lower.

    There were a bunch of shops over the road from the JR Akihabara station in the back streets, off the main road. None of the department stores/large electrics places seemed to seek them. I got mine from a little store right near the station. Not sure if it was cheapest but the salesperson made a good effort to help me.

    Can't put up a photo but it's near the denkigai exit of akihabara station (from google maps), and in the building right near with a "resona bank" ATM. they really aren't cheap, but hopefully will do the job on the slopes.
     
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  4. jeroen

    jeroen First Runs

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    @Sandy
    This looks good for my trip. There is one thing tho that i don't understand. It says :
    "
    Other Fees
    SIM Card Damages: 3,000 yen (pre-tax)
    Universal service fees are included in the basic use fees and charge fees.
    The SIM Card is a loaned item
    The consumption tax amount will be added to each item. Amounts will be rounded off to the nearest whole yen when billed.'

    Where do i need to return it? How does that work at the New Chitose airport?
     
  5. oreo

    oreo One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  6. BobGnarly

    BobGnarly One of Us

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    Which model did you get?
     
  7. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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  8. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Went down to Pitt St Sydney today to pick up a couple of these voice/data sim cards
    Easy peasy...hope they do the trick.
     
  9. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Reporting back on Sakura's portable WiFi products great usage, zero issues or hassles. Don't bother getting an extra battery, you won't run it flat within a day of usage. No dropouts around Furano or Tomamu, consistent strong coverage. Would rent again.
     
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  10. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Same experience for us and this was our second trip using them in Honshu. Only place it drops out is in the tunnels.
     
  11. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    link?
     
  12. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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  13. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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  14. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    The ability to go uncapped, or PAYG, is a winner IMO. Cheaper than Global Advanced Comms too.
     
    Donza likes this.
  15. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    with a data hungry family ...
    winner
     
  16. john_kr

    john_kr Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Has anyone used any of the Free Wi-fi finder apps (NAVITIME, Travel Japan Wifi, Japan Connected-free wifi)?

    Any good/bad experiences? Is there one that's a standout?

    We won't need Wifi enough to bother renting a mobile hotspot, but a free Wifi finder could be useful for us.
     
  17. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Only good things to say about Sakura data sim. Had it for a month, had excellent coverage in and around Hakuba and even in obscure little gullies in the middle of nowhere. I had better than my friends had with cdJapan, even though both are with docomo.

    Will be using again.
     
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  18. Pelm1

    Pelm1 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Agreed.. Using one now.
     
  19. Cynicor

    Cynicor Hard Yards

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    Alinco DJP 221. Small, foolproof and waterproof with a long antenna. :)

    10000JPY each.
     
  20. Pelm1

    Pelm1 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    It works fine everywhere except that one time in the dungeon ....
     
  21. JoeKing

    JoeKing Old n' Thrusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  22. BobGnarly

    BobGnarly One of Us

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    That's not too bad
     
  23. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just a follow up on these cards. I've been in japow now for about 2 weeks.
    I bought 2 of data+voice cards for $59 each. A reasonable price, I thought. You get 3 Gb data for the month BUT it's restricted to 110 Mb/day. If you go over this then it's throttled back and reset the following day.
    It's not a 'true" voice" sim in that you don't dial or receive calls in the normal way. You use an app called "Pointy" to make/receive calls, so really its for VOIP.
    It used the docomo network and, for my phone at least, it's been great. Almost always LTE and full strength. I have an iPhone 6. However the second sim was for my son and then later used by my daughter. Both have an iphone 5s.
    Both phones showed LTE (more usually 3G) reception BUT had no signal strength. This meant that their phone were useless for most of the time. They couldn't make/receive calls and using phones for data was flaky at best. I swapped out the card into my phone and seemed to work OK.
    So, I'm guessing maybe that the iphone 5 has antenna/reception quality issues maybe? Any tech heads have any insight as to why the 5 performed poorly? Back home with telstra sims there are no issues with their phones.
     
  24. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    It will be the LTE bands that are used in Japan. So Docomo Japan use LTE bands -
    B1 (2100)
    B9 (1800)
    B19 (800 Upper)
    B21 (1500 Upper)
    B28 (700 APT)
    https://www.frequencycheck.com/carriers/ntt-docomo-japan

    Looking at the iphone 6 specs they can use these Japanese LTE bands 1(2100), 19(800), 28(700). So the iphone 6 is able to use 3 out of 5 bands.

    But the iphone 5s can only use LTE band 1(2100), 19(800). So only 2 out of the 5. And from my reading it's often those 700 and 800 bands that are used outside the cities more.
     
  25. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks
     
  26. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    A possible fix/work around for the iphone 5s would be to go into the settings and turn off the 4G/LTE, then it would be forced back to 3G. Data would be slower but you'll get better signal.

    That's what I have to do at home here in Australia. If I leave my Samsung on 4G it keeps searching for a weak signal, which leads to data and phone drop outs while at home. Turn off 4G and it goes back to a stronger 3G signal with no dropouts.
     
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  27. Rimey

    Rimey One of Us

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    I want to make a call to home from my Telstra mobile (A5s) with International Data Pack to my Australian fixed line.
    I am dialling 010061353xxxx. I get a Softbank robot telling me I've got to stick a plus in front of the intnl code.
    I'm doing that. Any clues ?
     
  28. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    +61number
     
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  29. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    don't forget to drop the zero at the beginning of the Oz area code.
     
  30. Jamesc

    Jamesc Addicted

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    replace the 0100 with a +
     
  31. Rimey

    Rimey One of Us

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    Hold down the "0" until the + displays ...
     
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  32. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Another good option for those in Japan 15 days or less:

    Kabuki WiFi. It's a pocket WiFi on the DoCoMo 3G/4G network. The price includes the pocket WiFi and unlimited data, but it's max is 200MB/day, after which it throttles back to 200kbps. Speed is up to 21Mbps.

    You just turn it on and it starts the 15 days. 5 devices can be connected at one time.

    Cost: 4980yen incl tax. This includes the pocket WiFi, a SIM, both of which you can KEEP after use. I will find out if you can insert another DoCoMo SIM later, but the info says:
    "Although the return of the Wi-Fi router is not required, when you return in the nation of the airport designated by the vision, can be used after the next time and the discount coupon of "NINJA WiFi", sushi type of miniature magnet (6 pieces) is a gift ."
    Translated: You can KEEP the Wi-Fi router, and use Ninja WiFi via a coupon, next time you visit Japan. I reckon you just need to buy a prepaid DoCoMo SIM to do the job, if you don't pick up that offer.
    However, it's a very cheap way to get a Wi-Fi router that you can use again.
     
    #282 Sandy, Feb 12, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  33. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ok, you can open it up and put another DoCoMo prepaid SIM into it.

    So you end up with a pocket WiFi device for the price of a 3G SIM at up to 21Mbps, and 15 days use. Next I will have to see how to activate a different SIM.... might have to activate in a phone first. If it works, you can use a different SIM that has a longer lifetime/extendable prepaid.
     
  34. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    That would have to be an old tech wifi router at only 21Mbps. Ones I've seen are up to 225Mbps now.

    Does it operate on all the Docomo LTE bands ?
    https://www.frequencycheck.com/carriers/ntt-docomo-japan

    P.S Ahhh sorry, just noticed you crossed out 4G in your original post. So it's only 3G ?
     
  35. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    3G, cheap, reusable.....
     
  36. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us

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  37. retsej

    retsej Hard Yards

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    We did the same, ended up haggling for 2, plus having a convenient passport with us got them "tax free". Ended up paying ¥8700 each or thereabouts.
     
  38. retsej

    retsej Hard Yards

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  39. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    What is the best solution for data and voice staying a little more than a year up north,
    (holding a Japanese passport)?
    Could bring Ihone 5 along.
     
    #289 Hyst, Apr 3, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016
  40. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    May be I was not clear enough to deserve an answer.:(

    If staying in the Niseko area for a bit more then one year (might turn out more), and holding a Japanese passport,(my daughter), what would be the best solution for voice + data? (owner of a Iphone 5s - which could be brought along).
    Which network has the best coverage?

    Would be happy for any comments.

    Found this newer info:
    http://www.mondaiji.com/blog/japan/general/10240-sim-only-mobile-providers-in-japan.

    As the Japanese marked is changing a lot in this years, it is difficult to keep up to date, and as she is going directly to Niseko (or somewhere around there) in a few months not much time/options on the way.

    The of course concerned father.:whistle:
     
  41. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Check out "plala" seem to have lots of different stuff but hard if you dont know japanese
     
  42. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks, have not come across them before, seems an NTT- Sony joint owned service provider - about the Japanese have to wait until I came home from work.
     
  43. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Still looking for a good solution for 12 month - anybody know about this one? Seems to use DocomoNTT network.

    https://gtn-mobile.com/en/service/

    I suppose you can get it even if you are a Japanese national?

    The other japanese companys websites are to difficult in Kanji to finde out - even for my daughter.
     
  44. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    You need to be a resident in Japan or Japanese national, as they require TWO forms of ID(at least one needs to be Japanese). Will that be your situation?

    If not, you can get prepaid data.
     
  45. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Can you use Taspo or Gaijin card??
     
  46. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    These guys have long term data and voice plans. https://www.sakuramobile.jp/long-term-plans/

    I've used their pocket wifi while visiting and it had good coverage, used NTT-Docomo.
     
  47. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, Gaijin card.
     
  48. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    My daughter is a Japanese national and is living in Kutchan now - however it is the first time to live long time in Japan. She has finished her Japanese home registation, but has no Japanese ID card yet - she has of course her Japanese passport as well. Her Kanji is not up to a Japanese of the same age.

    Just looking if somebody has tried the Gtn-mobil plan?


    Taspo = buying cigarettes?? gets a bit complicated.

    Gaijin card - no she is a Japanese national.

    Looks very similar with there voice and data plan- but they carge 15.000 yen for the activation of voice service? (same carrier though - NTT Docomo).

    Thanks for the answers.
     
  49. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    If she has her home address registration, and Japanese passport and a credit card, that will be enough ID. Actually, even if you have a temporary ID with Japanese address + passport should be enough. When I arrived in Japan, all I needed to open a bank account was passport & temporary registration certificate with address. Same would apply for phone.

    Also straight to DoCoMo or Softbank to see what deals they can give her on voice + data, and compare with that GTN deal.
    (the 3Gig & 7Gig plan costs are fairly typical for DoCoMo or Softbank)
     
  50. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    She went for the gtn 3 Gb, japanese passport was enough dokomentation together with bank account.

    Hope she will write here how it works out.
    Thank you very much everyone.:thumbs: