Japan

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Contents

[edit] Cellular Operators

[edit] Softbank

SoftBank Mobile Corp, previously as Vodafone K.K. (also known as Vodafone Japan) and J-PHONE, is the Japanese subsidiary company of mobile phone operator SoftBank. SoftBank Mobile operates W-CDMA (UMTS 3G) network ("SoftBank 3G"). SoftBank's 3G network is compatible with UMTS and supports transparent global roaming for existing UMTS subscribers from other countries.

3G APN settings

  • APN name: smile.world
  • Username: dna1trop
  • Password: so2t3k3m2a

4G (LTE) APN settings

  • APN name: jpspir
  • Username: sirobit
  • Password: amstkoi
  • AuthType: PAP

[edit] AU by KDDI

  • APN name: au.au-net.ne.jp
  • User name: user@au.au-net.ne.jp
  • Password: au
  • Authentication type: CHAP

[edit] NTT docomo

WCDMA / UMTS

APN settings

  • username:@smartworldjp.com
  • password:09048498275
  • APN name:09048498275@smartwoldjp.com

[edit] eMobile

E-Mobile uses UMTS Band IX frequencies and it is next to impossible to find any phone supporting those frequencies and accepting SIM card.

[edit] B-Mobile

B-mobile is a MVNO operator of NTT Docomo

APN settings

  • username: (blank)
  • password: (blank)
  • APN name: bmobilewap

[edit] Foma

  • User name: bmobile@fr
  • Password: bmobile
  • APN name: dm.jplat.net

[edit] Prepaid plans

[edit] Softbank

You have to buy the SIM card with a handset at first - you may either buy a handset or rent it, see here. Store staff will not sell you a prepaid SIM card without a phone. You can only make voice calls and send text messages/MMS.

Following documents are required when applying for a mobile service:

  • Driver;s license
  • Passport
  • Certificate of alien registration - The applicant must be eligible to stay in Japan for 90 days or more.
  • Health insurance card + proof of your current address
  • Basic residential registration card

There is only one prepaid plan available:

Basic fees Voice Call Rate Video Call Rate SMS Sending Rate SMS Receiving Rate Data communication Rate
0 9 JPY (0.12$) / 6 sec 16 JPY (0.21$) / 6 sec Unlimited Mail service 300 JPY (3.9$) up to 30 days No charge (only if subscribed to Unlimited Mail) 16 JPY (0.21$) / 6 sec

You may connect your handset to a PC or laptop via USB cable and use it as a modem.

[edit] How to top up

You may top up your mobile via:

  • Online recharge by credit card via SoftBank Website. More details are here.
  • Bank Transfer - transfer money via ATM using Pay-easy service.More details.
  • Prepaid cards. 3000 JPY(38.97$) and 5000 JPY (64.96$) prepaid cards are available at convenience stores, SoftBank Shops and via SoftBank Mobile Website. Bought cards should be registered for use. For card activation do the following:

1. Dial 1400 and press Call button (a toll-free call).

2. Press 2.

3. Enter < Prepaid Card Number > + < # > (Scratch the card to get the card number)

4. Confirm card number - if the number is correct, press #; if incorrect, press 0 and enter the number.

5. Press 9 to finish.

Account is active for 60 days after Prepaid Card registration. Number is valid for 360 days after account expiration date.

[edit] eMobile

eMobile have some phones but they are more specialized in data services, so if you are going to use any of their prepaid plans then you also need one of their devices.

When subscribing to eMobile service you get an USB key with self-installing software, a data-only SIM and unlimited traffic. You should use the USB dongle, as it is not allowed to put the SIM-card into other devices. Which means that at least in principle you can't use your smartphone to connect to the Internet.

Plan Name Fixed Charge Maximum download speed Validity Data Traffic
EMOBILE G4 hour flat-rate plan 315 JPY / 4.09$ 42 Mbps 1 hour Unlimited
EMOBILE G4 daily flat-rate plan 630 JPY / 8.18$ 1 day
EMOBILE G4 7 days flat-rate plan 2,205 JPY / 28.65$ 1 week
30 days Subscription 4,410 JPY / 57.3$ 7.2 Mbps 30 days
EMOBILE G4 30 days flat-rate plan 5,460 JPY / 70.93$ 42 Mbps 30 days

Or you may subscribe to EMOBILE G4 Standard Plan and pay as you use - 63 JPY / 0.82$ per 1 MB with the maximum speed equal to 42 Mbps.

[edit] How to top up

You can top up your account online with any of the following charge amounts: 2,000 JPY / 25.98$ , 3,000 JPY / 38.97$, 3,150 JPY / 40.92$, 5,000 JPY /64.96$ and 5,250 JPY / 68.21$

[edit] B-Mobile

Data-only SIM-cards are available for visitors with no restrictions. B-Mobile SIM-cards can be bought in major electronics stores, such as Bic Camera, Yodobashi, Softmap, Sakuraya, etc. But the minimum purchase period in these stores is for 3 months or more. You can have the card delivered on a specific day within a 3 hours window, to any Japanese address such as a hotel you are staying. APN comes with the instruction booklet. You can clearly find it even if you don't read Japanese.

Product Name Validity Period Traffic Included Price
1 Month Subscription 3G 1 month (30 days) Unlimited 2,980 JPY / 38.71$
6 Months Subscription 3G 6 months (185 days) 14,900 JPY / 193.57$
Flat-rate 3G year plan 1 year 29,800 JPY / 387.15$

[edit] How to activate

Card must be activated by using a Japanese mobile phone to a toll-free number, OR a toll call through any other means (Skype for example). English speaking customer service representatives are available. Once the call is made, the card is valid for 10 days. They will send a confirmation number by snail mail to you. Once that confirmation number is sent back to them (through e-mail), the card will become fully activated.

[edit] AU by KDDI

AU by KDDI do have prepaid plans, but you have to use them in an AU phone...

To get prepaid services you have to buy a prepaid phone and prepaid card, then register for usage start-up. In case you want to continue using prepaid services, just register each new prepaid card. You can also check the registered balance and remaining usage days.

Prepaid cards can be found nationwide at AU Shops, PiPit, convenience stores and distributors.

Charged fees and call usage periods

Calling cost for 1 minute 100 JPY / 1.3$(tax included)

(10 JPY (0.13$) / 6 sec (tax included))

Cost to send C-mail 5 JPY (0.06$) / message (tax included)
Data transmission cost for 1 minute With AU one net - 40 JPY (0.52$) or 20 JPY(0.26$)/50 sec

With a provider other than AU one net - 100 JPY (1.3$) or 10 JPY(0.13$)/6 sec

Call usage period 3,000 JPY / 38.94$ - for 60 days from day of registration

5,000 JPY / 64.96$ - for 90 days 10,000 JPY / 129.92$ - for 365 days

Prepaid card types

Prepaid Card Types Usable up to Call usage period Re-registration period
3,000 JPY / 38.94$ (without tax) 3,300 JPY / 42.87$ (tax included) 60 days 90 days
5,000 JPY / 64.96$ (without tax) 5,500 JPY / 71.45$ (tax included) 90 days 90 days
10,000 / 129.92$ JPY (without tax) 10,000 JPY / 129.92$ (tax included) 365 days 90 days
Three Little Pigs card

(Card set with three 1,000 JPY (12.99$) (non taxed) cards)

1,000 JPY (12.99$) per card(tax included) 30 days / card 90 days / card

[edit] How to activate

You should register for usage start-up.Follow these instructions when registering additional prepaid cards.

  • Dial 1400 on your phone.
  • Following the voice guidance, dial 1 (card registration).
  • Next, dial the <16 digit card number> on the back of the prepaid card, and then press #. This completes registration of usage start-up. Your balance and remaining usage days are announced after registration is finished.

[edit] How to change voice guidance language

If you do not select a foreign language, all voice guidance will be in Japanese. So to switch to English do the following:

  • Dial 1407 on your phone.
  • Select 2 - that would be for English.
  • That's it. All further voice guidance will be in English.

[edit] NTT docomo

At the moment there are no prepaid plans available for NTT docomo. But they promise to introduce to two prepaid data billing plans in December, 2011. see details

  • Prepaid Data Plan 20h will cost 980 JPY / 12.73$ for 20 hours of access to the DOCOMO 3G network (max. 128 Kbps downlink / 64 Kbps uplink) over a 30-day period.
  • Prepaid Data Plan 100h will cost 4,980 JPY / 64.7$ for 103 hours of network access (max. 128 Kbps downlink / 64 Kbps uplink) over a 180-day period.

[edit] VoIP applications

[edit] GPS and other navigation applications

[edit] Restaurants, hotels and other recommendation applications

[edit] Social Networking applications

[edit] Special Travel applications

[edit] Wi Fi Networks

[edit] References

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