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Japanese cell phones

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untmdsprt
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Japanese cell phones

Postby untmdsprt » June 29th, 2007 9:35 am

For anyone who lives in Japan now, can you explain the differences in cell phone calling plans? How do you choose? Which phone do you choose? Are any of them able to display English until you become functional in Japanese?

My personal preferences are email, saifu feature, and English capability.

TheProfessorOne
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Re: Japanese cell phones

Postby TheProfessorOne » June 29th, 2007 5:57 pm

untmdsprt wrote:For anyone who lives in Japan now, can you explain the differences in cell phone calling plans? How do you choose? Which phone do you choose? Are any of them able to display English until you become functional in Japanese?

My personal preferences are email, saifu feature, and English capability.


The big 3 companies are Softbank, AU, and DoCoMo. There are a few smaller ones though and a few for business people too. I use Softbank myself now.

Softbank has many phones that are bilingual. So my phone is Japanese but the display is in all English. Every company offers you a little something different. From my personal experience, AU phone reception isn't the best. DoCoMo is decent as many people I know use them. However, I picked Softbank for the English options and pricing plans. I never have issues with dropped calls or billing...not once. And this phone is G3 so I use it when I go to the Phillipines an dthe USA.

This isn't extensive info here...but just my point of view.
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Postby Jason » June 29th, 2007 7:52 pm

The 3 biggies all have English websites:

KDDI AU
Docomo
Softbank
Jason
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untmdsprt
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Postby untmdsprt » June 29th, 2007 9:30 pm

Jason,

I've read the websites, that's why I'm still asking about the cell phones. :)

It seems to me that their plans are a monthly charge w/XXX minutes, and XXXX credit of yen toward data usage. Is this correct?

Professor, which plan did you get so I may understand better of how they do things there? To be honest I can't tell the difference between the Orange W and the Blue plans.

Seems to me that Plan M would probably be the best for me. Of course depending on the area of Japan I end up in, I may have to go with the company that has the best reception.

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Postby TheProfessorOne » June 29th, 2007 10:39 pm

Hi again.

My wife and I are on a family plan so we can talk for free and text for free unlimited. I guess it isn't truly free as you pay for it somewhere. Our plan is an old plan, like two years old, with SoftBank. We pay 11,000 yen for this plan a month for the 2 phones. There are other perks on it like a set amount of data transfer and text to other carriers etc. I don't know the details, wife does our bill stuff.

SoftBank also just started a plan called the "White Plan". 980 yen a month. Of course, what sounds too good to be true always is. There are hour limits from X time to X time its free to other SoftBank users but after X time the price jumps.

On another note, DoCoMo is the best I hear for reception. I was talking to a bunch of people about this earlier tonight. DoCoMo is run off the NTT network....NTT > Japanese airways lol. Softbank a.k.a Vodafone....is piggy packed off this same NTT network. That being the case, I on SoftBank have good reception, but not the best.

The setup is very similiar to the US setup. I worked for Spirint and Verizon in the states and from what I can tell...the network here is far superior.
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untmdsprt
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Postby untmdsprt » June 30th, 2007 3:32 am

TheProfessorOne wrote:On another note, DoCoMo is the best I hear for reception. I was talking to a bunch of people about this earlier tonight. DoCoMo is run off the NTT network....NTT > Japanese airways lol. Softbank a.k.a Vodafone....is piggy packed off this same NTT network. That being the case, I on SoftBank have good reception, but not the best.

The setup is very similiar to the US setup. I worked for Spirint and Verizon in the states and from what I can tell...the network here is far superior.



The network in Europe is also better than the states. Never had a problem calling my cousin when I needed some help.

Seems to me that Docomo has the better phones, and everyone I know is on it. I may end up going with them in the future.

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Postby annie » June 30th, 2007 1:48 pm

Docomo is more popular with Japanese people than foreigners.
Softbank's reception is pretty bad in rural Japan.

I have a Softbank and have been paying about 4100yen/month, which included 2000yen of free calls/data transfer/email/web usage/etc. i never went over the 2000yen. (but i have friends on the same plan who were paying between 6000-10,000/month)

I just switched to the whiteplan last month, so haven't gotten a bill yet. but it won;t be anywhere near the 4100 that i've been paying.

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Postby untmdsprt » June 30th, 2007 9:29 pm

The white plan sounds like one for people who don't use their phone much, or all their friends are using Softbank.

All this hassle is enough reason to get a good stiff drink! :shock:


I'm not even going to ask about internet there. Deal with that when it comes!


Thanks though for your info. At least by looking at the sites, I know what I'd like to have, just need to know how much it'll cost me once I get it.


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