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Japanese cellphones in Europe 2008/9/2 02:01
Tokyo 23-ku
I'd like to buy a Japanese cellphone, but I'm aware that 99% of them won't even try to work on GSM networks. And the very minority that would work is still locked to a Japanese provider and therefore cannot be used for daily usage while living outside of Japan.

What I need is a Japanese cellphone (which really would function and look like regular Japanese cellphone, not a European one for Japanese marked) supporting SIM cards, GSM network (Czech Republic) and wouldn't be locked... Is it possible to buy such a cellphone somewhere in Tokyo? I don't mind (maybe I'd even prefer it...) used ones.

Thank you!
by .Den  

LAOX 2008/9/2 19:28
Firstly, there is no GSM network in Japan, so you will NOT be able to get a Japanese domestic phone that will work with a GSM network ANYWHERE.

If you go to LAOX at Akihabara, they will have GSM phones for use outside of Japan. However, they will most likely not look like a typical Japanese phone.

If you want a Japanese domestic phone that WILL work outside of Japan, you need a 3G phone. However, 3G phones are all locked to Japanese networks, except for ones meant for foreign use (again, you can find some in LAOX)
by Sandy rate this post as useful

. 2008/9/2 23:48
So it's just as I thought... =(

Simply speaking, there is no chance to get a Japanese phone (Japanese design and functions) for the GSM network, right? I know about the 3G possibility...but Czech technologies suck heavily and to have only 3G-operating phone would be almost as not to have any phone. Are ALL 3G phones locked?
by .Den rate this post as useful

. 2008/9/2 23:49
I mean all Japanese models, not foreign.
by .Den rate this post as useful

. 2008/9/3 00:24
Today more and more Japanese 3G phones (FOMA and SoftBank) support GSM
as well for international roaming.

ALL Japanese phones are locked, but these phones are known to be unlockable.
http://www.mlc-trading.com/simfree_infomation.html
Unfortunately, most of them are not "pure" Japanese phones but foreign
phones marketed in Japan.

You cannot buy a brand-new Japanese phone unless you are a Japanese resident.
There are a few secondhand phone shops in this thread.
http://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0+48939

Anyway I don't recommend an unlocked Japanese phone for daily use
because it often lacks functionality (MMS/GPRS etc) and/or stability
(for example, some foreign SIM cards may not be recognized).
by meringue4 rate this post as useful

This one works: 2008/9/3 07:22
http://www.nttdocomo.com/pr/2007/001372.html

Go to the bottom of the page and look for "NEC 705i" this one works in Europe with no problems.
(but regular calls and text sms only - NO mms.)
I know this for sure, because i have it, and use it in Europe.
(You will need an Inex Hypersim to place on top of your existing simcard from your local operator.)

This can be found on Ebay for around 40-60U$.
Good luck.
by Th0mas24 rate this post as useful

. 2008/9/4 00:59
Thank you!

Does GPRS work as well? VERY important for me... Basically all I need is Japanese design, Japanese language (to be able to answer to Japanese mails in Japanese), SIM support and GSM network supporting voice calls, SMS and GPRS.
Thanks.
by .Den rate this post as useful

more... 2008/9/4 06:41
No Den, Im sorry - NO GPRS.
You can use a European Sim-card for GSM-net, voice-calls & SMS texting - thats it, basic functions only!!!
by Th0mas24 rate this post as useful

. 2008/9/4 09:16
Aww, perhaps too basic... =( Well, there is no point buying Japanese cellphone if I wouldn't be able to use it for Japanese mails for me... I'll try looking for something else though. Or NO phone supports GPRS?
by .Den rate this post as useful

more on GPRS.... 2008/9/5 07:31
To put it simple:
If you buy a japanese phone, it should be for the cool design/to have something else than the usual ugly European phones.

As for GPRS, i'm not 100% sure, but i think the answer is no, GPRS wont be compatible in Europe with any japanese phone.
(just like 1-seg and email isnt)
by Th0mas24 rate this post as useful

. 2008/9/6 01:36
I see, that's bad... =(
I like the design, indeed, but I'd like to use it for mails in Japanese... But I can't send them without GPRS.

Thank you for the info once again.
by .Den rate this post as useful

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