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Ordering a cellular phone from Japan.

26 Oct 2003
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I'd like to order a cellphone from Japan. Is it possible?

What problems can persist?

I heard that Japanese cellphones work on standard GSM 1900, the same as USA's.

And all European phones work on GSM 900 / 1800 standard.

Is it true?

So if I make an order, I should order a phone which works on all 3 standarts?

P.S. How big is delievery cost?
 
Hmmm.. the most obvious comes to mind: Can you read Japanese, in all of its forms? Because the operating system will most surely be in Japanese.

I think that there isn't any carrier that doesn't block the cell-phones that they sell. I'll ask around but though I think it is possible, it will be a huge pain in the neck, and in some countries, removing the block from the cell-phone is illegal.
 
"I think that there isn't any carrier that doesn't block the cell-phones that they sell. I'll ask around but though I think it is possible, it will be a huge pain in the neck, and in some countries, removing the block from the cell-phone is illegal."
i think that is it... good reply
 
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when i was in japan in april i went to several cell phone stores and asked if their phones would work in america and they all said no.

it sucks, i saw phones there in april that we don't have in america yet
 
Japanese cell phones (as a rule) will not work in the US even for voice and definitely not with data services - but don't despair as it will be coming in the next 12-18 months - however - you will run into problems getting a contract with your carrier.

The Japanese carriers will charge you roaming fees for calls outside of Japan - it is not a matter of buying a phone and hooking it up to your local network as the phones are designed to work under the protocols of the networks.

DoCoMo - PDC/PHS network plus the FOMA (proprietary 3G network)

Vodafone - PDC and now selling wCDMA/tri-band GSM phones

Au/Tuka/etc - CDMA2000, wCDMA etc

There are a few other combinations especially with the KDDI group..

Best to purchase your cell phone with your local carrier contract otherwise you will get stung in roaming fees. Also, the contract will include a handset subsidy.

Most of the cool features of the phones only work on the data networks within Japan - so you may be able to take photos, but you can't email them anywhere yet.
 
Well well...You want to say that if I order a phone, I won't be able to hook it to local network in my country? Or you want to say, That if I order a phone, I have to make a contract with some japanese carrier or japanese local network?

I just want to order only phone (device, apparatus).

My country supports GSM standard, so, as I understand, I can order a tri-band GSM phone from Japan.

The another problem is here:
"Note: Vodafone Co., Ltd. maintains ownership rights over the USIM Smart Card. Please return it to our company when canceling your subscription. Please note that mobile phones compatible with Vodafone Global Standard can only be used with USIM cards."

Again!...It says that I need to subscribe, if I want to buy a cellular...:(

And my country supports SIM...:(

So, I'd like to know, if there's such device, which I can buy, without obligatory to subscription, which supports GSM dual and which works on SIM card, and can also be used in Japan...huh...because Vodaphone isn't the only operator in all Japan...
 
if you want to buy japanese mobiles, why dont you find the handsets in Yahoo!Japan auction? some may ship them to your country.
but keep it mind that mobiles of vodafone japan are 'sim locked'.
to use them, you need contract with vodafone japan anyway.

i think it's only vodafone that provides dual (GSM/PDC) system mobiles in japan.
http://www.vodafone.jp/english/service/vgs/index.html
 
Originally posted by samuraitora
Great info!!! Hopefully they will soon have a better plan


A better plan? I don't understand. A better plan for who?

Japanese carriers have a very large market here and manufacturers enjoy a very high turnover of handsets. All parties realise that the need for Japanese language enabled phones is very small outside of Japan so they will not be putting any effort into capturing this market.

I do believe that Japanese handset manufacturers will try to build phones that are suitable for use in other countries, however they will be built to the specifications of the groups who will be selling and handling them - ie the telecos.. So they will be different than the handsets here as the markets are different.

Data is not a huge consumer demand for markets like the US..
 
I just want to order only phone (device, apparatus).
.....

Again!...It says that I need to subscribe, if I want to buy a cellular...:(

In order to keep the cost of the handset affordable, they are subsidised by the carrier and you "pay off" this via a 12 month contract.

Also, in order to protect their revenue, the carriers "lock" the SIM card so you can't shop around with another carrier.

I know you want to use the phone in the US, however, this is not an option for the above and also for many other technical reasons.

You could get the Vodafone, but you would have to get the contract with them too. Also, there are only two phones on the market that would be suitable, but they are not very interesting in terms of features. If you can wait for another 6-12 months there will be lots more to choose from. Trust me.. 👏
 
Originally posted by Enfour
A better plan? I don't understand. A better plan for who?

Japanese carriers have a very large market here and manufacturers enjoy a very high turnover of handsets. All parties realise that the need for Japanese language enabled phones is very small outside of Japan so they will not be putting any effort into capturing this market.

I do believe that Japanese handset manufacturers will try to build phones that are suitable for use in other countries, however they will be built to the specifications of the groups who will be selling and handling them - ie the telecos.. So they will be different than the handsets here as the markets are different.

Data is not a huge consumer demand for markets like the US..

That was kinda depressing to hear, but thank you for the info.
 
4-band mobiles can work all over the world. Buy one of those and use it, a Chinese friend uses it and it works in Spain perfectly.
BTW, normaly, Asian mobiles have translation into english, as menus and other stuff.
 
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