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

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

  1. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Any Further info here @Sandy?
    and web link please
     
  2. Sandy

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

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    I haven't checked different SIMs in it yet.

    http://www.vision-net.co.jp/news/20160112000499.html
     
  3. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Went to Softbank recently to re-activate my prepaid phone. Different number now but same plan as the one Sandy helped me get a while ago. Was a bit surprised when they said to go to one of the retailers as they have better deals than Softbank direct.

    Went to Aeon. Got a sim with a VOIP number for about 2000 yen per month. But you need a visa to get this. They will let one person have up to 5.

    Also got a 2 week tourist data sim for someone else. 2300 yen for unlimited data for 2 weeks.
     
  4. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    It works brilliantly for me. It covers all of Europe, the US, and most of Asia including Japan. I'm paying $75/month (including phone) and get unlimited talk and text in Oz. When roaming, for $5/day I get unlimited talk and text both to Oz and to the country I'm in. I think I get about 6GB of data. The only trap is the voicemail number is different from overseas and you have to log in with your mobile number and PIN code.

    One time I did have trouble in France but with a laptop and an internet connection I sorted it out with a chat session to a support person.

    The coverage is as good as the local carrier.

    The only trap is to turn on flight mode in transit stops as the $5 mightn't apply there and you could get stung with some hefty charges (eg Dubai)
     
  5. gaz35

    gaz35 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I take it that "Australian" walkie talkies are still a no no in Japan?
     
  6. Sandy

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

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    That's correct.
     
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  7. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    So how did this particular card work out overall on your trip this year? Did it improve with B2ski's advice to turn off the 4G settings on your kid's phones? I have a HTC 10 which has limited LTE bands for Japan as well.
     
  8. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    So, what I decided that the SIMs, while had some good features, they really weren't for us. We didn't end up making too many voice calls. It was convenient, in that I had the cards ready to go before we left Sydney.

    Next time, I'll just get a good data only SIM and any voice calls will be via a VOIP app.
     
  9. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks for that.
     
  10. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    The students my significant other decided to go to Japan with all decided to keep in touch using the data only SIM idea, and Facebook Messenger, based on the idea that without evidence of being resident in Japan then voice SIM would not be a option to keep in touch.

    So Plus1 went for that idea too. She was able to pick one up at Haneda and despite the language barrier, referring not to Japanese but the 3 letter acronym tech terminology, managed to get the it into her phone and get connected.

    Her U of Tokyo host took her shopping and dinner last night, so perhaps gave her a few pointers as well.

    Likewise only having just taken out a Facebook account I managed to press the right icons in the Facebook app on my phone to get Messenger installed. So we had a pleasant text and Skype style video interaction this morning with me at home her in the businessman's hotel across the street from the university.

    She mentioned she was able to get info from one of the students sent to the group about a taking later flight so that group chat idea seemed to work and work well.

    Confidence enhanced she if feeling emboldened enough to take the train to see things like the National Museum, to save maybe an hour's walk.

    So the data SIM with some sort of group chat app has to be a pretty foolproof way of keeping in touch with one or more people on the ground.

    Sandy's original post mentioned 14 days and that will be fine for the students, who are also going on to Osaka, and more than enough for Plus1 who will head home after the coming week in Tokyo.
     
  11. Sandy

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

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    When my daughter comes to Japan, I always get her a 30 day data SIM, and she uses skype to talk & facebook messenger to chat.
     
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  12. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Organised one of these puppies for my next trip in Feb. I'll be mainly up on Tohoku area then Asahikawa area. Will report back.
     
  13. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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  14. SkiBeach

    SkiBeach Hard Yards

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    SMS problem........over the last 3 years while in Japan my partner and I and other couple have kept in contact via SMS, never been a problem until last year! Last year for some reason we weren't able to send or receive SMS. I had a new smartphone but everyone else (I think) had the same phones as previous. We were able to ring each other though. Another couple who live in Kutchan over winter also experienced problems. Can't remember finer details as to networks etc. Probably something basic but can anyone shed light on the cause?
     
  15. Sandy

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

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    When you changed phones, did you change Telecom company?
    If so, then, for example, Telstra roams onto a different network to, say Optus.
    If it's a different network, the Japanese network may be different. You can't SMS between the two. You could try to roam onto the same network, and force the SMS to work
     
  16. SkiBeach

    SkiBeach Hard Yards

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    My partner and I are both with Telstra and could not SMS each other. Not sure about the other crew.
    Does Telstra always link to the one Japanese network? I very vaguely remember noticing I was with SoftBank (I think!) and he floated between SoftBank and another. Can that happen?
     
  17. Sandy

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

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    Yes, that happens.... manually connect to the same network (Softbank) and you will be able to SMS
     
  18. Pez

    Pez Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Thanks Sandy. I'm the partner of SkiBeach, I think you have sorted it out for us, as I was connected to DoCoMo and she to SoftBank.
     
  19. argento

    argento Hard Yards

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    last minute query...
    I know the answer to my question could well be in the 7-pages but I am at work and cannot sift through them.

    I was thinking of taking out a sim in Japan to have some telephone access and, predominantly, data. Then someone suggested I simply take out travelsim with the Aussie Post.

    1) How simple (or not) is it to take out a pre-paid sim in Japan that will provide both calling credit and data?
    2) Is this travelsim option from Australia Post a decent substitute for getting a sim from one of the Japanese providers?
    Thanks lads & ladesses
     
  20. JA2340

    JA2340 Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    With Telstra? Have prepaid? Get roll-over automatically each month?
    We just use the roll-over credit for international roaming and international data.
     
  21. argento

    argento Hard Yards

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    yes, I've got prepaid Telstra and roll over credit.
    how do I activate the international roaming and the data? are the calls to Australia pricy with international roaming?
     
  22. JA2340

    JA2340 Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    go to telstra24/7 ... select international roaming and follow the prompts. nCannot remember how - tooo much alcohol and too much time.,
     
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  23. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    http://japan-wireless.com/products.html
    We have just completed our trip using this company. (Premium Package)
    Great connection, great service, super quick (even my kids say it rocks) great value.
    Using for work while away and using netflix etc no issues. 36 days 100+gb used (unlimited though) $180.00.au
    10 devices at once.
    Worked all over nozawa, Iiyama, tokyo and everywhere inbetween.
     
  24. _gtr

    _gtr Hard Yards

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    Is this not one of the best value if you need a sim for at least 2 weeks? http://www.bmobile.ne.jp/english/
    5GB for 21 days

    Does anyone know of a cheaper sim with lower data allowance? Looking for my dad who barely uses 1GB a month.
     
  25. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    #325 Hyst, Feb 25, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  26. Born2skii

    Born2skii One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    This could be your problem. Often you need your address details to match the billing address on your credit card.
     
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  27. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes I suspected that just have to find a way around it.
     
  28. Sandy

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

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    Did you get a 30 day or 60 day SIM? I can't recall exactly , but you may not be able to recharge the 30 day
     
  29. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    30 days - does not say anywhere that 30 days can not be recharged.
    May be easier to buy an other sim! But density of places to buy here is very different from up north.
    I choose this as it had possibility of recharge - but here I am in deep s....!
    Mrs. Hyst's sim is still working fine.
     
  30. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    Gave up and bought a new sim from an other company.
     
  31. Sandy

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

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    If you skip the CC option to start with, looks like you can't recharge
     
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  32. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Heinz and Crispy013 like this.
  33. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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  34. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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  35. Lifes2good

    Lifes2good One of Us

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    I'm looking at some bluetooth discs to put in our helmets for our upcoming trip to Niseko, so that we can stay in touch with each other on the mountain. I understand the walkie-talkie aspect won't necessarily work, but I like the ability to make and receive hands-free calls while skiing.

    Has anyone used these in Niseko and how did you find them?
    https://www.cnet.com/pictures/best-high-tech-ski-gear-pictures/15/
     
  36. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    YK has them and loves them!!

    ETA he has had them for years and not had the walkie talkie feature.

    So used them for music and phone calls
     
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  37. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have them and they work a treat. I just plug into my phone. I like how you can still hear what's going on around you so you still have that "situational awareness".
    The original cable had to be replaced earlier this year as. It was easy to get the replacement.
     
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  38. Lifes2good

    Lifes2good One of Us

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    There are wireless ones now, but they are significantly more exxy.
    Great to hear! The W-T feature will be handy when we aren't in Japan.
     
  39. Lifes2good

    Lifes2good One of Us

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    I've read that it is the law in Japan that SIMs cannot be configured for both voice and data. Why would this be the case?
     
  40. Sandy

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

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    The "law" seems to be that only residents can have a phone contract, which can include voice and data.
    That leaves prepaid only for foreign visitors.
    I.e. Softbank had prepaid voice, while DOCOMO has prepaid data.
    ... But not both.
     
  41. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    My vodafone $5/day roaming supposedly works in Japan for voice and data. If you can live with vodafone in Oz it works great in a lot of countries.
     
  42. Lifes2good

    Lifes2good One of Us

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    Therein lies the rub. My husband is with Vodafone and we like to have at least one of us reliably connected to a network when we leave the city. Vodafone just has too many holes.
    I wonder why. There must be some obscure reason behind it.

    I've decided we don't need prepaid data while we are there (both accommodations have unlimited free wifi) but we do need to be able to make voice calls and SMS. May just suck up the global roaming charges and switch mobile data off. That's what we did last year in Europe and it worked well.
     
  43. Lifes2good

    Lifes2good One of Us

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    Another question - I'm thinking of signing up with Vodafone as I am about to get a new phone. I have read some posts about the $5/day roaming deal and was wondering how good the connectivity/signal is in Niseko with Vodafone? Would we get good signals all over the mountain/s?
     
  44. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    So for someone visiting Hakuba who is on Telstra prepaid, and wants the security of having voice and text access within Japan and back home to Oz, is there a simple economical sim that can be bought on arrival in Japan or is it better to just pay $10 per day on the Telstra International Day pass?

    Thankyou for any advice.
     
  45. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    No ....get Vodafone only $5 a day
     
  46. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Do people really spend that much time on their phone when on an overseas ski holiday ??

    I just take my normal Aussie prepaid mobile (with an Optus reseller). Nothing to receive texts and 50 cents to send. $1 a minute to receive and send calls. For any calls back to Aus I'll use Skype or similar on a wifi network.

    At $10 a day for Telstra I'd need to be sending more than 20 texts every day for it to be worthwhile, that's 280 texts over a 2 week holiday. Or even with the Vodofone offer of $5 that's 140 texts over two weeks. Personally if I'm sending that many texts or making long calls I wouldn't call it a holiday, I'd call it work. ;)
     
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  47. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Virgin is approx $25 for 30 days. I have it for communication between wife and I. Text only.. other stuff can be facebook ect at the end of the day using in house wifi..
     
  48. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    With the Vodafone account , $5 is all you pay , you are billed at your Australian plan , which for me is unlimited text and calls , and whatever my data allocation is.
     
  49. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    $5 per day, or $70 extra for a two week trip. Personally I wouldn't spend anywhere near $70 on calls and texts on a two week holiday.

    Now for yourself and others who are actually working or running their business I can understand why you would need it, but for your average holidaymaker ?? Maybe it's just me, but when I'm on holidays I don't want to be calling and texting on my phone all the time, I want to be skiing and enjoying the experience of Japan. :D
     
  50. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    If you just want the security of having a phone that you'll occasionally use and don't plan on making lots of calls or sending hundreds of text messages then the simple solution is to head down to Woolworths and pick up a $2 Amaysim sim card. Then put $20 credit on the account (which can be done online), that will remain valid for a year.
    Roaming rates are here - https://www.amaysim.com.au/plans/mobile-plans/international/roaming#check-roaming-rates

    If you do run out of credit you can just load up more from Japan. And for calls back to OZ just use a wifi network and something like a Skype account, who only charge 2.7c per minute for a call back to an Aussie landline.
     
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