One of the 마사지 알바 most commonly asked questions is how you can pay for voice + data or data-only SIM contracts in Japan. In this post, you will find out where you can buy SIM-free phones in Japan, as well as how to get a locked SIM-free phone unlocked. SIM cards enable travelers to use their mobile phones inside Japan, provided that the phones are unlocked and can operate within Japanese networks (most modern phones can).
There are three basic types of mobile plans in Japan, which are related to what kind of SIM you receive. There are three mobile operators with the biggest and best communications services in Japan, namely, DOCOMO, AU(KDDI) and SOFTBANK, and until 2019, if you wanted to request a mobile number in Japan, it was not as simple as you might think: fill in the form, choose the package, then receive a SIM card and put it straight into the cell phone. If you want to apply for a mobile number in Japan, usually, you have to apply for the mobile package at the same time, and have to purchase the phone on contract with the relevant telecom company.
Contracts are SIM-locked, so once purchased, a contract phone can only be put on a SIM card of that carrier, and it can be used with only that carriers cell phone package. If you buy a smartphone from any of Japans major cell carriers (Docomo, AU, or Softbank) docomo AU Softbank, it will always be on contract, and the phone is SIM-locked. As mentioned earlier, if you buy a phone at one of the main mobile carriers (Docomo, AU, or Softbank), keep in mind that the phone will be SIM locked until you ask for it to be unlocked after a period of time (usually 100 days — if you do not fully repay your handset).
If you buy a mobile phone on your plan, then using the phone overseas may become an interest. To take advantage of the big three companies, you are going to want a SIM-free phone – once again, one that is not locked into any specific network. Worse, you can barely import a phone to Japan and use it on any of those networks.
There are a few smaller companies that offer cheap mobile phone plans to residents, and mobile Internet products for tourists, but these generally use the networks from the four major companies. By going with one of Japans four major players, you can rest assured you will have a wider selection of plans, handset choices, and better coverage than with the other companies. Now that you are familiar with the handset plans and cell carriers, it is time to think about which will work best for you.
This may sound confusing at first, given the many options available to you when looking at mobile phone plans in Japan, but consider this as a way of getting the one best suited for your communications needs. Your options for cell phone plans in Japan are 1) high monthly fees and hidden charges by major mobile players such as NTT Docomo, SoftBank, and AUs NTT Docomo SoftBank AU, or 2) lower-cost, more flexible plans by the new breed of MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) piggybacking off of networks owned by bigger players. The biggest Japanese cell phone companies are NTT Docomo, AU from KDDI, Softbank (formerly Vodafone, and J-phone before that), and Rakuten Mobile Softbank (formerly Vodafone.
In Japan, cell phones became ubiquitous years before the phenomenon had worldwide reach. While today, most models of cell phones are usable in Japan, certain older phones might not be working because of the difference in technology. Thankfully, that changed several years ago, when the government ended a restrictive practice, which was the total ban of unlocking phones in Japan (the process of making a device work on any carriers network). Moreover, the phones that were sold would not function properly on Japanese networks, and were actually not truly SIM-free phones, but rather, hand-unlocked phones from foreign carriers like China Mobile, which were not designed for use in Japan.
The major difference (besides the fact you cannot make or receive calls, of course) is that your phone does not have a cell phone number attached. When you activate an MVNO SIM, the parent network will be the one displayed on the upper corners of your phone. Enter your phone number and a few numbers from the card that your new SIM is attached to. You may as well follow the line-opening procedure (if you are on a contract with the carrier) as you cannot use a phone on any SIM other than that from the original carrier.
Instead of giving up your phone number each time you want to change cell providers, you can bring your number (with many carriers, anyway). If you want to purchase a phone on two-year installment plans, or claim monthly reductions on your phone bill, you have to have lived in Japan for a minimum of two years — and not just because you told a telecom company, “I am going to live in Japan for two years. For data: Phones that operate in Japan for voice (see above) can also receive and send data (such as email and Web content) through international roaming or the SIM card, but be aware that data charges can easily escalate without an adequate data plan.
We left out plans with lower-volume data below 4GB, though some providers might have plans with just 1GB a month, or even zero data, if you only want to maintain a phone number when out of Japan.
Amazon has a great selection of phones from Y=15,000 to Y=25,000, which are really SIM-free, and come with all of the features that one expects in a smartphone.