Mobile Monthly plan Japan

Or how come I pay a full monthly plan for only one day(!)

I have recently changed from one of the major mobile network operators in Japan to a lower cost. Doing that will help me lower the monthly plan from around 9000 Yen to 3000 Yen.
As I selected a low cost provider which is associated with my previous one, the procedure was very simple and fast.

But, what I forgot to consider is the actual transfer date. Maybe I was being naive, maybe I thought that the date does not matter, but I changed providers on September 2nd.

Now, you would assume that I would have to pay for 1-2 days to my previous provider, but surprise surprise. I was charged for a full month! YES! 9000 Yen for 1 day service.

My kid told me :

Oh, it is well known. When you sign up, you pay for only the time you joined, but when you move out, you pay for the whole month

That means that for the month of September, I am paying a full month for my previous provider and almost a full month for my new one.

Isn’t this something that the Japanese government needs to regulate and control ?

I thought about complaining/calling, but if this is a common practice in the Japanese mobile market, maybe I should focus my efforts in discussing with consumer protection groups.

Will think some more about it.

Did not write the names of the providers as I guessed it does not really matter.

Japanese Dena’s “Secret” clone

Could find very few references to this in English based blogs/media so I guess it is worth the blog post.

Dena apparently published a “Secret” clone called “Rumor”.

I actually like the design better than “Secret”, but have very little motivation to actually use it.

The good:

  • Can add friends from Facebook, twitter or manually
  • “Popular” tab which does not limit to friends of friends
  • “Search” tab

The bad:

Zero friends from Facebook and Twitter which means very few people actually use it.

Friends screen
Friends screen

In the following sample post a Girl complains that her boyfriend does not excite her and she is ashamed to be seen with him.

A Sample post
A Sample post

SoftBank network issues ?

Update: It seems that I passed the 7GB limit which made softbank throttle my access. FIRST time it happened to me. I was sure I had unlimited access.  Guess who is going to switch service provide when he can ?

I am using Softbank Ultra Wifi 4G for over a year with no problem, but I feel it behaves quite bad recently.
I can hardly connect my outlook to the exchange , having problems accessing the web in locations it used to work.

Is it Yosemite or Softbank problem ?
(iPhone 6 effect?)


Google Japan Mobile Promotion

Google Japan is posting once in a while promotional videos on Youtube.

I really don’t like these Google Mobile videos. Maybe because of the annoying music and graphics, or the silly plot:

In the first one, the couple searches for a cinema screening “Super Dog 2” movie:

Second one, “the business story”, our heroine searches for business manners: “Where should she sit in the Taxi?” followed by a search for a train station and directions.

NTT DoCoMo to stop "Push To Talk" Services

docomo_logoJapanese Mobile operator NTT DoCoMo announced that “Push to Talk” services will stopped next year.

“Push Talk” services will not accept new application from end of September 2009, while the services will be halted completely end of September 2010.
As cell phone usage in Japan is mostly about data (emailing, browsing), “Push Talk” seems like a service that is unlikely to be popular. While I don’t have exact figures, I can’t imagine people standing in the street receiving a “Push Talk” message.

Israeli Siano powers Softbank Mobile's iPhone OneSEG


Published in Israeli The Marker [HE]: Israeli Start-Up Siano ‘s chip SMS1130 is powering  Softabank Mobile’s 1seg (Japanese: ワンセグ) iPhone adapter.

This  iPhone adapter is both a 1seg (ISDB-T) TV Tuner and a battery pack,  on sale for 9,840 ¥.

Apple iPhone’s lacked this important feature, which is now a standard in most Japanese cellular phones. About 100$ is a bit expensive in my opinion, but I am not watching TV anyway.

Japanese Mobile Operators

Some more information from the Japenese MIC (Internal affairs and Communications).

Share of Carriers in subscription for Cellular Phones and PHS:


Docomo still lead, while KDDI increase their market share.

As for LTE: KDDI, Docomo and Softbank already have LTE plans, so it seems the future competition in Japan will not be about Cellular Technology and Coverage, but for additional services (and marketing).

Softbank, while pursuing LTE technology and supposedly selected Huawei for trial, also prefers to deploy HSPA+ while waiting for the LTE market to mature and cost to be driven down.

Acca Networks – Mobile Broadband

Acca Networks was one of the operators who applied for the lucrative Japanese 2.5GHz WiMAX spectrum last year, but lost to UQ Communications and Willcom.

As it turns out Acca did not give up on their mobile broadband dreams, but instead of deploying their own Mobile WiMAX network, they are using NTT Docomo network for only data service.

Details are (in Japanese) in Acca Mobile website, offering two types of plan with 3 available devices:

1) USB type – from Anydata

2) CF type – from Nihon Denki (NEC)

3) USB type – from Huawei

Nokia E71 review from Osnews

I love the phone. Never had a blackberry, so I can’t compare, but the Nokia E71 rocks.

OSNews have finally reviewed the Nokia E71.

Quote from the Conclusion (who bothers reading the entire review?):

Nokia’s E71 is a great phone, but not for the users it was originally aimed at. As a business phone, the less-than-stellar Exchange support, as well as the missing BlackBerry support, will limit the phone’s use. However, as a normal phone “for the rest of us”, the excellent keyboard, sturdy design, and easy-to-use interface enables it to be a fine mobile phone.

Do you hate touch screens, like I do? Do you hate one person controlling what you can and can’t do with your phone, like I do? Would you still like a smartphone? The E71 is a decent choice.