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Phone Line in Japan


16 Oct 2003
Hi ,
I want to take a connection of yahoo BB . But its english site says you need a NTT Phone connection first . The NTT East
Japan says that you have to deposit 72000 or buy a line for
using phone . Is there a cheapr option avaiable . I will be staying
for 3 months only . So don't want to spend so much on a phone line ..
If somebody is having any idea please reply..
I'm sorry, but as far as I know you can't rent a line, but have to buy one.(someone please correct me if this has changed) It's sooo expensive isn't it!!
Do you have any contacts in Japan? Ask around if anyone has a "spare" line - we were given one by a friend who had a spare *phew!*

We also use Yahoo BB. It took ONE MONTH from the date we signed up until the BB phone arrived - it could be because we live in a small town , but it would pay to ask how long it will take to set up since you are only here for three months. Apart from that no complaints though.

I'm sorry that I can't help you :sorry:
You can try and go wireless. You should for your basic phone use anyway if your housing doesn't have a line already installed. You can go wireless in most cities for your internet connection too (more for laptops obviously) but it won't be as fast as Yahoo BB. But hey, look at it this way, it is either 64kbps or 0. You can buy a used phone line for around 24000 if you can't find someone to give you one or if you don't buy one. The catch is you might have to pay for installation and that will be a big hit to your wallet.

If you are only going to be in Japan for three months, are you in a dorm or some other such housing situation? Your own apartment? Dorms probably won't let you run your own line to your room, and an apartment might already have a line in it owned by the building and you pay a fee to the building owner. At any rate, if you do track down a line, check with whoever owns the joint if it is okay to set something up, because they are going to be the ones stuck with the line when you leave (ie they will get all the future fees).
Getting broadband in Japan is something of a slow process. That said, Japan is one of the most advanced countries in the world when it comes to network infrastructure. You can get much higher capacity internet connections than in most other developed countries, for the same cost.

Yahoo!BB generally takes about a month as mentioned above (although if there's a lot of demand in your area, it could be 6 weeks). First, they need to check the line to see if it supports ADSL - you may be in a modern area that is all fibre (known in Japanese as hikari cable). ADSL is designed to run over standard copper phone lines, so if you live in a fibre area, you will need B-FLETS instead.

The big bonus with B-FLETS is that it is ridiculously fast (100Mbps) compared to a maximum of 24 Mbps for the new "ADSL More II" or "ADSL More 24". (although 24mbps is probably more than you'll ever need anyway!) The downside is that B-FLETS can take 2 months or more to get installed.

Both ADSL and B-FLETS generally involved a visit to your apartment/house by an NTT engineer, who may not speak English, so it's a good idea to have a Japanese friend around. You'll probably also get half a dozen phone calls from NTT and the ISP.

One company worth checking out is JENS Spinnet:

They have full English language support and will even talk you through setting up the broadband modem etc over the phone. They also have a reputation for providing very fast connections. (You may have a very fast line into your house, but the real capacity still depends on your ISP).

There are ways to get your phone line for a lot less than 72,000. I'd suggest you get a Japanese friend to do an online application for you (unless you can read Japanese yourself). I did my application online when I moved apartment recently and I think the total cost was about 5,000. Go to the NTT East website and follow the links.

Finally, if you want to go mobile, I'd definitely recommend getting an AU phone instead of DoCoMo (forget J-Phone - they don't offer a data service). AU supports 144kbps straight out of the box (about 2 and a half times the speed of most standard modems). The only slight drawback with them is that they have a relatively limited number of bi-lingual handsets - but if you want it mainly for data, then this isn't so much of an issue).

Hope this helps.

NTT rents lines, too

nzueda said:
I'm sorry, but as far as I know you can't rent a line, but have to buy one.(someone please correct me if this has changed) It's sooo expensive isn't it!!


It hasn't been necessary to buy a line for several years. Now you can either buy a line on "the street" for about 30,000 yen or you can rent a line directly from NTT by paying a little extra (about six or seven hundred yen/month, I think) over the basic line charge.

You can arrange to either buy or rent an NTT line through BBapply: Japan Internet Service Provider ISP English access Support who can also arrange Yahoo BB service, all in English on one application.

I thought lines were probably worthless since cell phones are so popular now but I forgot about Yahoo BB and the need for lines for data purposes. Maybe I should sell my line before wireless gets too viable and it really does become worthless. Does anybody know if it's possible to sell/transfer ownership of a line from outside Japan?
Now you know on why the figures of half Japan used mobile phones came from.

Wireless phones are widely used in Japan because land lines are expensive to set up.

I think that maybe one of the reasons it still stay expensive is so that more people will buy wireless phones.

Anyway. Considering that general type of Internet connection is hard to get in Japan and that you're only in Japan for around three months, you might want to consider of going into a fast.
As Hyogojoe said, the smart thing to do is to buy a "used" line at a tremendous discount.

The way NTT does the phone lines is very analagous to the cars and roads. You can buy a brand new car from the maker (the 72,000 yen "new" line directly from NTT). Or you can buy a used car (the discount line). NTT doesn't give a rat's rear end which way you go. You still get to drive the thing.

I think this whole system sprung up way back in the old days when they were trying to control the growth of the phone system and to sort of do the infrastructure growth funding on a pay-as-you-go/use basis. Since the entire country is now totally hooked up for landline phone usage, the system has long outgrown any practical basis it may have ever had, but it lingers on just the same.
I have a certain knack for doing that. In a strange numerological coincidence, 95% of people find that an extremely annoying trait of mine.
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