1. There's more to this forum than meets the eye!

    We have a vibrant community here conversing about all sorts of non-snow topics such as music, sport, politics and technology. Simply register to reveal all our Après topics or continue browsing and reading as a guest.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice

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

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

  1. Lifes2good

    Lifes2good One of Us

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    554
    Likes Received:
    696
    Location:
    Sydney, Aust
    We almost always ski with friends and find we use our phones quite a lot for meet-ups, making arrangements etc. I also text my mum a few times a day while I'm away, so she doesn't feel like I'm too far away (she is elderly and not well).
     
  2. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,094
    Likes Received:
    2,421
    Location:
    赤倉
    That's what I'll be doing again with my Aussie phone (I have Boost Mobile) this season - just put $10 monthly credit on it while I'm away. I don't answer the phone and just call back/text using Skype which is linked Oz no.
     
  3. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    269
    Thankyou for all of the useful replies, much appreciated.
     
  4. Stratus

    Stratus A Local

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    8,113
    Likes Received:
    294
    Location:
    Edithvale VIC
  5. Stratus

    Stratus A Local

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    8,113
    Likes Received:
    294
    Location:
    Edithvale VIC
  6. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    5,290
    Likes Received:
    2,360
    Location:
    Sydney
  7. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,329
    Likes Received:
    569
    17700yen 60 days, unlimited data. Japan wireless
     
  8. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    65,081
    Likes Received:
    13,034
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    Hyst likes this.
  9. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,329
    Likes Received:
    569
  10. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2015
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    348
    For those in the know... how has the coverage of pocket wifi been with japan wireless? Thinking of using them over global advance this trip - just concerned about coverage in naeba, matsumoto, takayama, kanazawa. Mostly just through the mountains. Any issues?
     
  11. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,329
    Likes Received:
    569
    I have only used iiyama. Nagano. Nozawa. Myoko areas but have had no issues at all.
    It has worked great.
     
    Melskius likes this.
  12. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    15,499
    Likes Received:
    5,181
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Love them, but I use their pocket wi-fi. Used it for 4 trips to Japan, currently using it in Tomamu. Two reasons I like them over others, plans that have no daily limits on data usage and they use NTT Docomo which have great coverage throughout Japan.

    As above I've used Sakura wifi router on a few trips now and the only place I've had it drop out is in train tunnels. No problems at Naeba, even works on the 5.5km long Dragondola across to Kagura.
     
    azzski and Melskius like this.
  13. Stratus

    Stratus A Local

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    8,113
    Likes Received:
    294
    Location:
    Edithvale VIC
  14. Stratus

    Stratus A Local

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    8,113
    Likes Received:
    294
    Location:
    Edithvale VIC
    Its the best value one I found for visitors.
     
  15. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    5,290
    Likes Received:
    2,360
    Location:
    Sydney
    Hyst and Pelm1 like this.
  16. Chillybin

    Chillybin Addicted

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2016
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    154
    I’ve always used global advanced communications. Been awesome in 7 trips now. Pick up from the post office at the airport and drop off in the post box when leaving. No idea if there is better or worse but I’ve never had many network issues even in the backcountry.
     
    Stratus likes this.
  17. shepski

    shepski Addicted

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    Perth
    I got the 5gb for our trip this year, worked well so will probably use them again next year. Had it delivered to to the hotel and dropping it in the post at the airport is pretty simple.
     
    Tonester likes this.
  18. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    5,290
    Likes Received:
    2,360
    Location:
    Sydney
    Yes. I had excellent reception everywhere I went. No issues. And the convenience factor of having it waiting at the hotel also helps.
     
    Pelm1 likes this.
  19. Stratus

    Stratus A Local

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    8,113
    Likes Received:
    294
    Location:
    Edithvale VIC
    Based on advice here I used them for my 3 wk trip to hokkaido and kyushu. Straight forward to set up and no issues with speed or connectivity for the whole trip. Really pleased. Had the card delivered to hotel, easy.
     
  20. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2015
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    348
    Just wanted to add - on advice from here, we have been travelling with the ivideo wifi. The 501 version has been great in Naeba, Matsumoto and Takayama so far.
     
  21. Sage Oya

    Sage Oya Like the herb, lover of Pabst, cup ramen devotee Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    Messages:
    740
    Likes Received:
    1,744
    Location:
    Sydney
    We used the Biglobe ninja sim purchased in oz from ablenet pty Ltd on Pitt street Sydney in the city. Runs on the Docomo network, $50 for 3 gig data only and rechargeable online with a credit card. Worked pefectly for us. 3 gig each lasted us 30 days combined with using hotel WiFi
     
  22. Mark*V

    Mark*V Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2018
    Messages:
    318
    Likes Received:
    101
    Location:
    WA
    I've just read this entire discussion. My daughter has a medical condition. If she gets injured (serious injury such as knee, not for anything minor) I need to provide her with medication asap. She will be boarding with her brother, I will be skiing elsewhere. As far as I can tell the easiest and cheapest way to communicate will be to turn roaming on our mobile phones. We will only be using it in the case of an emergency, so we will only be charged for those calls made. Will there be coverage at Hakuba on the mountains? Or do I need to buy a Japanese walkie talkie set? I have read that these are available in Tokyo however I would prefer not to stop in Tokyo as that will mean we will arrive in Hakuba late in the evening. What are my options?
     
  23. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    33,511
    Likes Received:
    29,431
    Location:
    woonona
    We've used roaming on our phones in Japan and its fine. The reception on Softbank was decent enough in Hakuba.
    Just turn off your data roaming.
     
    Mark*V likes this.
  24. Mark*V

    Mark*V Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2018
    Messages:
    318
    Likes Received:
    101
    Location:
    WA
    Thanks. I'm thinking about using the Optus and Vodafone roaming, will that work?
     
  25. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    33,511
    Likes Received:
    29,431
    Location:
    woonona
    Yeah.. we used Optus before
    The Vodafone one..You can spend $5 a day extra and get basically your plan overseas.
     
    Sandy and Mark*V like this.
  26. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    33,511
    Likes Received:
    29,431
    Location:
    woonona
    I have heard though the Vodafone one is SLOW data wise.

    When we did it with optus..I made a few calls etc ...took some calls and it added $11 to my Bill.


    I actually prefer a pocket wifi.(and call through messenger etc)..but thats another kettle of fish
     
    Mark*V likes this.
  27. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    5,904
    Likes Received:
    2,379
    There are coverage maps. Might require a bit of searching to find them though.

    Will be softbank or NTT Docomo
     
  28. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Messages:
    6,456
    Likes Received:
    2,540
    Location:
    Gold Coast/Nozawa Onsen
    This hasn't been my experience with Vodafone , the data uses whatever it is connected to in that country . For us in Nozawa we connect to Docomo . I just returned from Bali where I hot spotted my phone to use local 4G for internet , as the wi fi at my accommodation was crap .
     
  29. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 15, 2002
    Messages:
    20,027
    Likes Received:
    12,235
    Location:
    Top drawer
    Depends on the telco. Telstra has agreements in place which get you “4g” in lots of countries, but the pipe is throttled so you only get a couple of mb speeds which is barely 3G. I was in Italy a few weeks back and regularly got 500kps, which is utter piss for $10 per day.
     
  30. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,329
    Likes Received:
    569
    From other thread
    Japan wireless with portable WiFi about $170 for 62 days last season, unlimited data, worked everywhere from tokyo to nigata, myoko, joetsu, nagano, Nozawa and many obscure places in between.
    Super fast 10 devices, extra battery delivered to accom or airport, drop in post when finished - win
     
    Lucky Pete likes this.
  31. alferg

    alferg Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    50
  32. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 1999
    Messages:
    41,903
    Likes Received:
    20,091
    Location:
    St Kilda, Australia
    This seems like an extraordinarily good deal. No data limitations, DoCoMo network, no speed limitations. An entire month is $52.

    I'm wondering what the catch is. Is it 3G or something?
     
    alferg and Mitchthewitch like this.
  33. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    65,081
    Likes Received:
    13,034
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    According to terms and condtions, it uses NTT Docomo's Xi and FOMA.
    Xi is LTE (4G) and FOMA is 3G.

    If that's the case, it's a really good deal.
     
    alferg and azzski like this.
  34. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 1999
    Messages:
    41,903
    Likes Received:
    20,091
    Location:
    St Kilda, Australia
    They ping you $6 for delivery to Australia, but I can live with that!
     
    Donzah, alferg and Sandy like this.
  35. alferg

    alferg Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    50
    Yeah I couldn't quite believe it when I stumbled upon it. Such a great deal.
     
  36. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    33,511
    Likes Received:
    29,431
    Location:
    woonona
    only issue - my Oppo ain't on tthe list
     
  37. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 1999
    Messages:
    41,903
    Likes Received:
    20,091
    Location:
    St Kilda, Australia
    My Samsung Galaxy S8+ isn't on the list either - but it's an unlocked Android phone that takes a nano sim. I can't see how there'd be a problem. I can't imagine an Oppo would have issues either. I think the list has not been updated in 2 years is all.
     
  38. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    33,511
    Likes Received:
    29,431
    Location:
    woonona
    Its got the new fancy Oppo on there
    I agree with you though
    Ever get the vibe the Japanese don't like the chinese or korean tech? or cars for that matter
     
    azzski likes this.
  39. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,094
    Likes Received:
    2,421
    Location:
    赤倉
    Good find. Will buy one for my teen who can't go 5 minutes without dying of wifi withdrawal.
     
    alferg likes this.
  40. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    3,350
    Likes Received:
    1,767
    Location:
    Sydney
    HTC10 isn't there either.
     
  41. Sandy

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

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    65,081
    Likes Received:
    13,034
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    The Japanese telco companies are anal about testing that all "approved" phones will work, so customers don't complain if they don't work.
    We had a 100 modified #Phones on continuous cycle tests just for that reason in our test lab, and another 200 Androids.
     
    alferg and Donzah like this.
  42. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    5,290
    Likes Received:
    2,360
    Location:
    Sydney
    That's a great deal. I've just ordered one.
    The last couple of years I've gone with sakuramobile.
    But that was about AUD $100 for 10 Gb for a 2 week period. This is way better.
    I
     
    azzski and alferg like this.
  43. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    33,511
    Likes Received:
    29,431
    Location:
    woonona
    It's pretty frikken awesome.
    I presume you can hot spot as well?
     
    alferg likes this.
  44. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    5,290
    Likes Received:
    2,360
    Location:
    Sydney
    And gobsmackingly quick delivery too!
    So, I ordered the SIM on Wednesday night. I just arrived home to find in it in the letterbox.
    Only in Japan!
     
    PMG likes this.
  45. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    3,350
    Likes Received:
    1,767
    Location:
    Sydney
    Was your phone on the list Tonester?
     
  46. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    5,290
    Likes Received:
    2,360
    Location:
    Sydney
    iphone xs...yep!
     
    PMG likes this.
  47. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    3,350
    Likes Received:
    1,767
    Location:
    Sydney
    No such luck here.
     
  48. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,094
    Likes Received:
    2,421
    Location:
    赤倉
    My daughter's phone (Lenovo Z9) is not on the list but not sure why it wouldn't work. It's just a regular sim card. Or am I missing something?
     
  49. Rowdy1

    Rowdy1 Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    6
    You need to look at the frequencys that your phone supports vs the ones that the provider broadcasts in. They may broadcast in none of the frequencys that your phone supports, especially in rural areas.
     
    M_G likes this.
  50. Rowdy1

    Rowdy1 Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    6
    Born2skii likes this.