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Rakuten to enter Japan's mobile phone market


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The competition is good, but knowing a few programmers in Rakuten, and hearing their stories about the mess that their coding is, I think illl stay away from it myself.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Zichi i just left au because of their bad service. I got two Samung galaxy phones one 6 and the other one 7 . I went there with both phones to have them unlocked which they say they did but i wasn't able to use them overseas. I've been to the au shop probably 10 times and whatever they tried they won' work with other sim cards even japanese ones like aeon, rakuten and ocn. I've spend something like 15 hours in total at the store and phone. Finally they blamed me that i must have done something funny with my phone. When i told them it was their obligation to unlock my phone and that it was the law and has been since 2015 they looked at me and said there is no such law and that it was just some guideline by the government i just told them to terminate my contract. Now i have a pocket wifi with an ocn card and save 4.500 every month. Au has very incompetent and inexperienced staff who blatantly lie in your face when they run out of excuses

3 ( +3 / -0 )

4000 per month is still expensive. Back home we have unlimited call and 2 gb plans for 7 euros a month. I think Japan still has a lot to learn what low cost means

1 ( +3 / -2 )


Good for you. I used to be with Docomo and have never had any problems. Switched to AU 4 years ago because they had lower plans and I would get an additional discount of 500 yen per month cause I have AU HIkari. Btw I speak Japanese,been here for almost 18 years but they provided an English speaking operator and actually it was she who told me that they weren't obligated by any law to unlock my phone and if during the unlock process anything happened to go wrong that they weren't responsible for that either. So they screwed up two perfectly fine phones and had the nerves to blame me while it was a clerk in both cases who did the unlock procedures.

To make a long story short, my pocket wifi is data plan with OCN. 6gb for 1580 a month and for calls I am renting a number with Skype which costs me about an additional 200 per month. No more AU and Softbank for me. Thanks for the link

1 ( +1 / -0 )


Yeah you get a 050 number which costs about 200 yen per month to rent and if you get a one year contract it's even less than that and you can call any phone number in Japan and receive calls as well on the same number. I bought a 1200 credit almost two months ago and still got 1080 left. Landlines cost about 3 yen per minute and mobile calls are I believe 7 yen per minute

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Softbank want a new entry it purchased vodaphone japan

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@ Netgrump

I have travelled intensively in my life and lived in several other major countries and have spend close to half my life in Japan. So i am only speaking from experience and sharing some thoughts. I am not here to bicker with other posters. I respect your opinion and am glad for you that you've been able to visit Japan without breaking the bank

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe then I will consider getting a phone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )


 I'm now paying au, just under ¥5,000/month for my wives iPhone 7+

I used to be on AU (and paying the same amount) but I recently switched to an MNVO sim-only carrier called Mineo after my contract expired, and I only pay about ¥2500-ish on each phone for an unlimited data plan. Unless something has changed, they operate on the AU network so your reception quality would be the same. I was sceptical at first but now I would really recommend it to everyone. It's nice having an extra ¥5000 savings (x2 phones) every month if you're not planning to get a new phone anytime soon.


0 ( +0 / -0 )

does that include unlimited calls, AppleCare and the iPhone which can be updated every year. So far this year AU have given us 25,000 points which we used for new glasses for my wife and paid one monthly bill.

Unfortunately calls aren't entirely free, but as skotmanforyou mentioned it's around 3 yen per minute if you go for the IP phone option, and completely free when calling other users of the same IP phone service (ie. spouse in my case). These barebones services are more for people like myself who have stopped upgrading to a new phone every year. I'm still using a Samsung phone from 2015 and have no plans to upgrade. If you like getting a new iphone every year then maybe Au is a better option.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ skotmanforyou

Most plans with a phone within the EU are around these 4 till 6000 yen or more as you try to give the impression that most people in the EU have 7 euro plans.

More competition on a market is good but Japan don't need by passers telling them to learn what low costs means :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Netgrump

I am not trying to give the impression that most EU people have 7 euro plans. Just pointing out that such plans do exist and that is what I call low cost. If you do not wanna upgrade to the latest version every year or two but just need a phone and data plan than such plans exist.

If you have lived in Japan long enough you would definitely agree with me that Japan needs to learn what low cost or budget means compared with the rest of the world. From phone plans to hotels, airlines, electronic appliances and many more.


0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you have lived in Japan long enough you would definitely agree with me that Japan needs to learn what low cost or budget means compared with the rest of the world.

I've spent the majority of the past six months out of Japan, in Australia, Canada, and now the USA, and while there are cheaper options in each of these countries, none of them have come close to the speed and consistency of Japanese cell phone service, and none have as complete coverage.

Japan may be more expensive, but you get more for what you pay. I'm fine with what I pay in Japan for what I get.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@skotmanforyou I had my galaxy 5 and 6 unlocked by Docomo and had the same problem. But I know the solution, unlocked the phones will not automatically download the new phone carriers settings. You need to manually enter them in under the phone network. I got both phones working overseas minus images over SMS but I did not care about that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Eri

Yeah ur right, my bad. Got the wrong link.



Thanks but already tried that. But i dont get further than the APN setting. It keeps asking for more setting details which even the clerks at the store dont know what to put in so i gave up. I am generally satisfied with the pocket wifi, works well but the continuous charging of two devices is a little pain

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you have lived in Japan long enough you would definitely agree with me that Japan needs to learn what low cost or budget means compared with the rest of the world. From phone plans to hotels, airlines, electronic appliances and many more.

As a frequent visitor I find Japan pretty cheap in all aspects including transport, hotels and restaurants compared to continental Europe. But of course, you're from the Rainy Island with it's declining currency :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

More competition is always welcome and desired. A price war is actually the best thing that could happen

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@skotmanforyou sounds like you already gave up, store clerks are idiots, call the support center or google it for the info: https://www.ntt.com/personal/services/mobile/one/visitor/en/apn.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 The roaming charges in the EU are blind theft and almost criminally. How many are giving free phones?

Since last year EU citizens pay the same as at home within the EU.


Can't imagine that you get a 'free phone' in Japan as you always pay for that in a plan.

New ruling in the EU demands that the provider shows on the bill which part is for paying off the phone. Providers can offer for example an Iphone for a lower price than at the Apple store without passing on interest to their customers each month.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@skotmanfouyou: lol hahahaha thats about $39 USD.

I guess you can call that expensive.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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