Smartphones in Japan: How To Buy, Unlock and Change Plans - GaijinPot

 

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The SoftBank page provides mobile (iPhone, iPad, smartphone, mobile phone, tablet, etc.) product information as well as information on charges and discounts, special offers, coverage, apps and services, and customer support. May 20,  · Just sharing my experience purchasing phones here in Japan. OOPS! Sorry everyone I noticed I said something wrong, AU does have free texting, as long as it is to another AU . Jul 18,  · Smartphones in Japan: How To Buy, Unlock and Change Plans. Japanese mobile service is notoriously convoluted — here's what to do if you plan to bring a phone over from home or sort yourself out with a new one while you're here. By Liam Carrigan Jul 18, 11 min readAuthor: Liam Carrigan.


au | carrier with the highest customer satisfaction rate in Japan


Japanese mobile service is notoriously convoluted — here's what to do if you plan to bring a phone over from home or sort yourself out with a new one while you're here. A lot has changed in the mobile phone landscape in Japan over the last few years. Cell phones used to be very heavily restricted. You had a choice of three large companies, all offering near-identical packages and prices, with customer service standards that generally fell well below what one would come to expect from Japan.

To make matters worse, it was nearly impossible to bring a phone into Japan and use it on one of these networks. Thankfully, this all changed about two years ago, when the government brought an end to the restrictive practice that was the blanket ban on phone unlocking in Japan the process of making a device capable of working on any carrier network. That being said, figuring out the best option for a phone in Japan is still extremely tricky.

Now, any phones bought after May can be unlocked provided you have been with the carrier for more than days. Some carriers au cell phone japan english try to play dumb in this regard. But it is the law, and they cannot refuse to unlock your phone provided you meet these conditions, au cell phone japan english. A phone that has been unlocked should, in theory, work on any network worldwide.

However, bandwidth differences mean that you may not get full functionality. For example, a phone that gives 4G coverage in Japan may only give 3G coverage elsewhere and vice-versa. A small number of phones will not work at all outside of Japan, but these days the number of phones with this problem is small and continues to drop year by year. Be aware, the three main network au cell phone japan english — AU, SoftBank and Docomo — will straight up lie to your face about this. However, you do not necessarily need to cancel your contract in order to unlock the phone.

For example, a friend of mine was going home to England for a month during the summer and he wanted to use a local pay-as-you-go SIM card. He unlocked his phone but continued to use SoftBank until his contract ran out some six months later. This may only be an option depending on your contractor, so do look into that. Be aware, the three main network providers — AU, SoftBank, and Docomo — will straight up lie to your face about this. This is demonstrably false, as I have personally used two different unlocked phones in Japan bought from Docomo and AU prior to However, with a bit of internet searching, you will find companies able to accommodate you.

If you can do without your phone for a week or two then the cheapest option would be to send it away to one of the dozens of phone unlocking companies based in Hong Kong who will unlock and root your phone for a fraction of the prices charged in Japan. In principle, au cell phone japan english, SIM-free phones and unlocked phones function in the same way. They should work on almost any network worldwide. However, there is a subtle difference between the two. Unlocked phones are those which originally belonged to a specific carrier but have been manually unlocked by someone with the requisite expertise.

Although in most cases these phones should work on almost any network, they are less reliable au cell phone japan english true SIM-free phones that are designed to be used in several different countries au cell phone japan english multiple networks. Most modern, name-brand phones from abroad will work in this regard.

Until recently, I used an iPhone 6 bought in the U. However, if you have a phone that is perhaps 10 or more years old, it may not work in Japan. So, GSM phones will not work in Japan. Another encouraging side effect of this change has been the emergence of mobile virtual network operators MVNO.

These are companies that rent the existing network architecture from the big three and given lower overheads, can offer far cheaper prices to consumers, au cell phone japan english. One important caveat here concerns AU and the MVNOs using its network that may have compatibility issues with phones from abroad or those native to another Japanese network. As an offshoot of the popular messaging app, Line Messenger, Line Mobile offers data and call plans at very competitive rates as well as numerous bonus features for users of the app.

Actually, if you are a regular user of Line, au cell phone japan english, then going to an MVNO outside of the big three networks can be slightly problematic. This is one of the few drawbacks to switching to an MVNO. Certainly, phone users in Japan have far more options these days than they did just a few short years ago.

As for short term visitors, there are a number of rental or pay-as-you-go phone and SIM options available, many of which can be collected at the airport. However, as one would expect, these tend to be a lot more expensive than local contract options. One provider that is quite reasonably priced is Mobal. However, there is a trade-off for this added convenience.

If you can afford the au cell phone japan english outlay, I strongly recommend getting hold of a SIM-free phone before you go about trying to get a SIM card or contract. So, where can one get a half-decent and reasonably priced sim-free phone? Facebook is a good place to start, especially if you live in the larger cities. Foreigners leaving Japan often sell their wares before they depart and phones often feature prominently in the listings.

Seeing as you are buying directly from the owner there is also scope for negotiating your own price, depending on how cheeky you want to be, and how desperate to shift the item the seller is. Watch out for deals that seem to be too good to be true. A safer — and in many cases cheaper — option is Amazon Japan.

Yahoo Auctions functions in a similar way to E-Bay in that you bid for items, however, the service is only available in Japanese at the moment and the sign-up process is rather complex. This is an international search engine that allows you to search specific phone model numbers by country to see which networks they will work on. Make sure that you know the exact serial number of the phone you want to order, as even just within Japan there may be several different versions of the same phone, au cell phone japan english.

Sadly, the reality is some companies are less than reputable, and one that I would strongly encourage you to avoid at all costs is Expansys.

On the face of it, Expansys appears to be selling popular brand SIM-free phones at prices far below the market rate, au cell phone japan english. However, despite the site being completely in Japanese and clearly targeted at Japanese domestic consumers, many of the phones they sell do not have Japanese language functionality. In addition, they will not function fully on Japanese networks and are in fact not true SIM-free phones, but manually unlocked phones from foreign carriers such as China Mobile that are not designed to work in Japan.

Unfortunately, a few friends of mine have been taken in by these scammers and lost a lot of money in the process. Another place to avoid, simply because of expense rather than a lack of honesty, is the big electronic stores such as Bic Camera, Yodobashi Camera, and Sofmap. Another place to avoid, simply because of expense rather than a lack of honesty, is the big electronic stores such as Bic Camera, Yodobashi Camera and Sofmap.

These places have a wide selection of second-hand phones available, but the prices are only slightly cheaper than you will pay for a new handset. Amazon has the same items for a fraction of the price. SIM-free phones, like many aspects of life in Japan, are an area where it really pays to do your research ahead of time. Much like that naive English teacher who leaps at the first opportunity to work in Japan but ends up with a nightmare job because they let their enthusiasm get the better of them, you need to be careful not to instinctively buy up the first phone that you see.

Take your time, shop around and see what you can find. Still confused about cell phone use in Japan? Teacher, journalist and now blogger, au cell phone japan english.

More articles by Liam Carrigan. GaijinPot is your best source for English teaching jobs in Japan. Search for a job, post your resume and get your new job in Japan. I have an OCN contract. I think another important thing to note is that you need au cell phone japan english credit card to sign up for service.

My friend from the U. She had to buy a new phone along with a 2-year plan in order to pay in cash. Not only does the shop have a great selection of unlocked second hand phones from all the Japanese au cell phone japan english, but it also has some English speaking staff. It works to make voice calls but no internet even though APN from Softbank are correct. Any ideas?

I bought my iPhone 7 here in Japan in late at docomo. Could you please link to the law so that people like me can have it in our pockets when we attempt this?

From finding the best restaurants and directions to getting early earthquake warnings, these mobile apps can help make life in Japan that much easier. When you first arrive in Japan, some of the biggest challenges can be the simplest things — like doing laundry. Gaijinpot guides you all the way from starting your washing au cell phone japan english to its advanced features.

Live Smartphones in Japan: How To Buy, au cell phone japan english, Unlock and Change Plans Japanese mobile service is notoriously convoluted — here's what to do if you plan to bring a phone over from home or sort yourself out with a new one while you're here. Unofficially, possibly.

The legalization of unlocking is just one positive aspect to the new laws coming into effect. Japan How to Get a Smartphone. Liam Carrigan Teacher, journalist and now blogger. Milan says:. August 11, at pm. July 25, at am. Chysamere says:. July 22, at am. TJ says:. July 20, at pm. Nilesh Kodre says:. July 20, at am. MD says:. July 18, at pm. Live 5 Apps to Make Your Life in Japan Easier From finding the best restaurants and directions to getting early earthquake warnings, these mobile apps can help make life in Japan that much easier.

 

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au cell phone japan english

 

Japan is a leader in mobile phone technology and use. In addition to calling, email and messaging, Japanese mobile phones were some of the first to widely adopt features such as internet browsers, games, cameras, televisions, electronic wallets, train passes, GPS navigation and music players even before the advent of smartphones.. The biggest Japanese mobile phone companies are NTT docomo, au. au, mobile carrier with the highest customer satisfaction rate in Japan. au's official website introduces variety of consumer services. May 20,  · Just sharing my experience purchasing phones here in Japan. OOPS! Sorry everyone I noticed I said something wrong, AU does have free texting, as long as it is to another AU .