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Acquiring a keitai (mobile phone)

jet_dee

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At the hospital where I work, everyone is on NTT DoCoMo, so it makes sense to go with these guys if I purchase a mobile phone.

However, I need to find out if it will be economical, because I am paid 50,000 yen a month, and about 30,000 of that is for food expenses. The other 20,000 I can be economical with, I've heard that an average line rental cost is 6000 yen.

I don't want too many frills with my phone. Having decent ringtones would be nice, and I don't want to look uncool with a crappy looking phone. However, video, i.e. 3G technology, I do not need at all, and that would probably put me in the red far too quickly.

The phone would have practical uses, other than just being a means of social interaction. After I'm finished in Kumamoto at the end of February I intend to travel around Japan, most of Japan in fact, for about three months. I will be going places where it would be helpful to have an emergency exit in case I got in trouble, or lost. (Shikoku's 88 temples, Hokkaido's national parks).

So to summarise, please help me to find a decent phone package, because I can't really grasp the kanji that I encounter when shopping in person or online for phones.

NTT DoCoMo
Polyphonic or better ringtones
Email (Japanese people have a hard time grasping the concept of SMS!)
Will be using the phone for the next 6 months or so
Line rental + additional monthly costs, except phone bill, must not exceed 10,000 a month (hopefully much less than 10,000, but I don't want to be too stingy)

Thank you very much for helping out!
 

Ewok85

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Go prepaid mate, or try and get some kind of student (50% off!!) discount.

2 things you can do, hit the stores and grab paperwork orrr hit the sites and check the deals. Personally prepaid is best for you, plans only pay off IF you use the cap and if you are on them a long time (min of a year) as you get nice discounts.

NTTドコモ ホーム DoCoMo
NTT DOCOMO Home DoCoMo English :)

http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/p_s/charges/foma/info_up/setmenu.html#39
4000 yen a month plan

Now for a phone... what you want? Gunna be a wussy foreigner and use a bilingual one or go for it and have some fun and use a proper japanese one? :D

http://901i.nttdocomo.co.jp/main.html <- drooool
No idea how much they are, thats for you to get out and hit the pavement and see how much, and what you like.

http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/p_s/mousikomi/index_frame.html
Condtions and things you need to apply.

I had one of these - http://www.vodafone.jp/prepaid_en/index.html - the enjourno, top phone, easy and small, and had polyphonic tones, color screen etc. Nothing fancy, could do emails and calls. Prepaid flexibility and simplicity - no being charged for going nuts with phone calls or anything. If you are only there for 3 more months this is THE best option.

Do us a favor and go to the ツ渉ュ窶氾打ス窶コナ陳昶?邸窶怒窶「窶 (Shorinji Kempo Hombu) for me :)
 

jet_dee

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WOAH!

Thank you a bloody lot mate! Holy hell that's more info than I was able to pull out of my backside! And those phones look beautiful , I agree. The prepaid phones can be topped up at any combini can't they?

But yeah, I'm gonna show my boss this and get her to help me do all the contract filling and stuff, but I reckon I should be very happy very soon!

Thank you!
 

Ewok85

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No problem, its a dilemma I faced when in Japan and I did a fair bit of research (that and I like to look at the phones even now for next time :D), back then I decided that even for my 10months of usage prepaid would do me, not unless you go nuts (i mean really really nuts) with calls or mail that a plan would work out.

Yeah, just about any combini in japan does enjorno cards, hell, i think i have a spare one still :p
 

jet_dee

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I've decided to go DoCoMo. Upon going to Vodafone they told me they had no phones in stock, prepaid, that would display English options and text, meaning I'd be getting screwed. I decided it would be much easier and better for me to go for DoCoMo's cheapest plan, I will be here for 6 more months and I have a lot of friends to party with for the next three before I leave Kumamoto.
 

Ewok85

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Yeah, the enjourno's are japanese, its about 9 or 10,000 for the english version (whole different styled phone). I picked mine up from a 7-11 :p

Docomo are better than vodafone if your on a plan, 6months should be long enough to make it meet up and not be too expensive 👍
 

jspecdan

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i'm with KDDI's au because of their Global Passport thing (which i barely use anyway) but you can get a 500 yen phone (decent looking and has a camera) and then buy a prepaid card. you'll save tons of money that way.
 

Maciamo

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AU of KDDI and Vodafone are cheaper than Docomo and are better in many respects (GPS on most AU phones, TV on some Vodafone models). I pay 2,500yen/month with AU and just bought a new phone with GPS and 2 megapixel digital camera for 6,000yen.

I am not sure with Docomo, but sending short-messages with Vodaphone is free and 1yen with AU, but they can only be sent to someone using the same carrier. Both Vodafone and AU have an extensive network abroad (esp. Vodafone) and can therefore be used in many countries. Docomo is more Japan-centered.
 

ax

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I am using Vodafone atm. When I first got here they told me that Vodafone can take international call while other can not. So I used Vodafone. But the truth I might regret, it is more expensive. If I had second choice, I would revert to KDDI too, I guess.

ax
 

Ewok85

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I think KDDI/AU have student plans, ie 50%!!! *

* (Tired, drunk and cant remember, might need some research)
 

MeAndroo

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Ewok85 said:
I think KDDI/AU have student plans, ie 50%!!! *

* (Tired, drunk and cant remember, might need some research)

They sure do. This is why nearly everyone I knew had AU (cept for the Japanese kids), making things a whole hell of a lot easier. C-mail costs less than e-mail, that's for damn sure, and when you're dealing with high volume, every yen counts.
 

DragonChan

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I have AU. Couldn't get the student discount because my school still hasn't given me a student ID-thingy. (It's been 4 months...)

I cheated and got the bilingual phone. Though lotsa japanese people have my phone. Saw it on TV the other day. I started a new trend. (Got the phone the day after it came out.)

Cell phones are useful. I never bothered at home, but I love mine here. I just text my host family if I'm going to be out late, and whenever I go out its almost always planned with my friends via text. Plus it gives me something to do at lunch. I get really bored after the first half hour.
 

jet_dee

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Thank you for all your help. Unfortunately I don't qualify as a student yet, since I'm on a year out between college and university.

I've gone ahead with the NTT Foma plan 39, at 4000 yen a month, and gone for the p900i, which will cost me just 5000 or less tomorrow. This is probably a decent option for me because I don't expect to make many calls yet, wouldn't be very good at conversing fluently, so just emails will do me fine for now.

Anyway, to reflect on my excitement, woohoo! Socialising here I come!
 
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