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Cell Phone in Japan? 2008/2/11 08:40
Hello, I have a GSM handset that supports UTMS 2100MHz (which is what is used in Japan if I remember correctly). What I am wondering is, I will be living in Japan for a year or more for work, and while in Japan, I was hoping to get a Japanese cell phone number as well as pay a domestic (non-roaming) rate for cell phone usage while using my GSM handset (I understand GSM isn't deployed in Japan, but since my handset supports UTMS, this shouldn't be a problem, right?). Is this possible? If so, how would I do this? Also, my phone supports video calls, email, etc. will these features work in Japan? I was hoping to use either Softbank or NTT DoCoMo, but perfer Softbank over NTT DoCoMo from what I've been told. Thanks.
by Jonathan  

Mobile phone 2008/2/11 09:56

I don't think there is any way of doing that, since SIM cards are not available in Japan. Since you will be living in Japan, you can get a regular (or prepaid) Japanese mobile phone. An Alien Registration Card is required when buying a phone, so you should apply for this at your local city office as soon as you have a permanent address in Japan.
by Dave in Saitama rate this post as useful

Hmm... 2008/2/11 10:16
I see... this is a shame; however, today a new phone I'm interested in getting was announced, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1. Would it be likely for me to be able to get one of these in Japan once they are released? It is a Quad-band GSM/UTMS phone powered by Windows Mobile. I was looking on Softbank and NTT DoCoMo websites and it looks like there are very few Windows Mobile phones. Also, do most Japanese phones have an English mode? I cannot read very many Kanji, and I don't have a large Japanese vocabulary.
by Jonathan rate this post as useful

Mobile phone 2008/2/11 10:24

Willcom offers Windows-based PHS phones, but I don't think any of the big three (Docomo, Au, Softbank) offer phones like that.
As far as I know, all phones these days allow you to set the menus etc to English.
by Dave in Saitama rate this post as useful

Softbank 2008/2/11 10:35
I was thinking about, and I remember a few months ago, I was visiting a Softbank website and I saw an offering for renting a SIM card or something to that effect. Do you have any idea what that implies?
by Jonathan rate this post as useful

Rental SIM 2008/2/11 10:45

It's all explained on the Softbank website. I think you'll find that will work out very expensive compared with regular phone plans, but it could be a good stop-gap method until you can get a regular Japanese phone.

by Dave in Saitama rate this post as useful

No choice... 2008/2/11 11:14
I suppose I have no choice then. I'd be better off using my current carrier's international roaming than Softbank's rental SIM based on the information on that website. So, I suppose I'll just end up getting a Japanese cell phone. I wish I would be able to use my American phone, but oh well.

Thanks for your help.
by Jonathan rate this post as useful

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