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call japan from the US with a Japan cell 2010/1/31 00:50
United States
Hello,

I have relatives from Japan who would like to use their Softbank cell phone to dial to Japan from the USA. Is this possible?
by naomi415  

USA Carrier Is Needed 2010/1/31 09:26
Your relative can't connect without subscribing to the USA carrier. Cheapest alternative is to get the international calling card and loan them your cell phone, or the landline.
by NNN (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2010/1/31 13:40
They don't need to subscribe, it would depend if their phone and Japanese service is capable of international roaming services which is quite expensive.

Best to use skype or calling card.
by ExpressTrain (guest) rate this post as useful

Just to add 2010/1/31 14:09
Provided the Softbank phone they have is 3G-enabled, they should be able to make calls from outside Japan to Japan (or to another country). That's called International Roaming service, and it comes in handy though the rates are expensive so you need to watch how much you use it :)

http://mb.softbank.jp/en/global_services/global_roaming/

http://mb.softbank.jp/en/global_services/global_roaming/area_id.html?c...
The handset (on initial setting) automatically chooses the local (in your case US) carrier.
by AK rate this post as useful

softbank in US 2010/2/1 09:55
Your relative can't connect without subscribing to the USA carrier.

This is incorrect. There should be no problem roaming in the US unless your relatives have very old phones (5+ years old). Virtually every softbank phone is capable of internationally roaming, which I believe has been a company policy/selling point for a few years now. Anyway, when travelling in the US they will get service most likely via ATT 3g, and the rates are 140 yen/min to Japan and 175 yen/min incoming. Also, they can send/receive emails at a rate of 100 yen/mail +5 yen/kb.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Roaming is expensive 2010/11/18 14:04
Yes Softbank is capable of roaming but why do it when you can always use VoIP or calling card for calling Japan? I can't imagine how much is the roaming rate but I am 100 percent sure its triple (or more) the rate of most calling cards in the US.

For example, with Onesuite.com it's only 2.1c to call Japan but with roaming it must be more than $1 per minute.
by Jeron (guest) rate this post as useful

roaming 2010/11/22 11:37
Yes Softbank is capable of roaming but why do it when you can always use VoIP or calling card for calling Japan?

The advantages are namely convenience and mobility. While internationally roaming you are not tethered to a physical phone line, or a computer with an internet connection. Of course its more expensive on a per minute basis, and you have to be aware of the costs (listed in the post above by the way), but for some the cost is not the most important factor.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

You have a point 2010/11/23 18:29
But I find it hard to swallow the $1/minute difference between Onesuite (or other phone card/voip service) and Softbank roaming. Plus VoIP nowadays can be use from your mobile phone and all you need is a softphone plus free wifi internet is easy to find in Japan.
by Jeron (guest) rate this post as useful

cell phone 2010/11/24 19:04
Plus VoIP nowadays can be use from your mobile phone and all you need is a softphone plus free wifi internet is easy to find in Japan.

VOIP and wifi are rare on Japanese phones (as are smartphones for that matter), not to mention free wifi is also rare and not nearly as prevalent in Japan as in other countries. But the point of the thread is about using the phone while travelling outside of Japan, and for most people access to voip is difficult without the requisite computer and internet connection. Calling cards are an economical choice, but many people will probably still choose the convenience of picking up their cellphone for a few quick calls while on vacation.

But I find it hard to swallow the $1/minute difference between Onesuite (or other phone card/voip service) and Softbank roaming.

Me too, but I'm coming to realize that there's a point in life where convenience becomes more important than cost. I feel like I'm just reaching the cusp of it, while my parents and relatives in that generation are mostly beyond that point. They'll use the cheap services if I do the work of setting everything up for them, but if left to figure it out themselves they usually choose the easiest route, regardless if its the cheapest or not.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

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