moving to Tokyo - use my 5s?

pesos

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 30, 2006
611
143
Can't seem to find a straight answer - my family plan with Verizon has a line with a contract ending in July, so at that point I'm going to just drop my line/number as it's useless over in Japan and too many clients have it anyway.

My assumption is I can get a sim for my 5S and use it without issue? Anyone know much about DoCoMo/Softbank or am I better off going mo-to-mo if i'm only going to be there 12-18 mo?
 

alexmarchuk

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2007
695
265
New Jersey
Take it with a grain of salt, literally. I'm quite certain however that the 5S is multi-band from 11-13 bands depending on model - and mo-mo should be a viable solution (maybe sacrificing "LTE" or the other features such as visual voicemail, also I'm not sure where you could get a nano-sim.)
 

iJON54

macrumors newbie
Jun 24, 2013
25
0
Nagoya City, Japan
I'm here in Japan and I am also using iPhone 5s from Softbank. I assumed that your iPhone is openline.

My monthly plan is around ¥7,200 to ¥9,000 if I am calling to a non-Softbank subscriber in a month. They have a 7gb limit on internet usage and for me, Softbank has the best plan compared to Au and DoCoMo.
 

pesos

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 30, 2006
611
143
Thanks iJon. I don't plan on making many actual calls - most of my usage will be data and most calls will be through LINE... Regular calls would just be for restaurant reservations and things like that.

I will use iMessage to communicate with folks in the US, and some SMS as well. What are the SMS rates like with Softbank?
 

iJON54

macrumors newbie
Jun 24, 2013
25
0
Nagoya City, Japan
One month subscription is like 7k plus, I just don't know the exact amount with a maximum 7gb limit. After that, it will be slow as a turtle until your next cycle.

Local SMS is unlimited, free calls to Softbank to Softbank subscribers (2am-8:59pm). International SMS is I think is ¥100.
 

0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
6,474
8,052
Somewhere
A Verizon 5S does not support the correct LTE bands for Japan, you should be able to use it on 3G, but no LTE. You can look at all the different model numbers and which bands/carriers they support here.
 

iJON54

macrumors newbie
Jun 24, 2013
25
0
Nagoya City, Japan
Better just get the iPhone 5s from them so as not to be bothered by its compatibility.

And I think you need to stay in Japan for two years because of the contract but as you said, for only up to 18 months, so you cant avail of the installment plan, you have to pay it in full.

But there's an other way, get a sponsor from your employer.
 

pesos

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 30, 2006
611
143
yeah sounds that way. although I'd prefer to hold out for the 6 if there was a way I could get affordable data for the interim...
 

pesos

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 30, 2006
611
143
Looks like I can rent a pocket wifi unit for 4 months for around $45/mo. That plus my old iPhone 4 or an ipod touch should do until the 6 comes out. Thanks for all the help!
 

aussieinjapan

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2010
76
4
Its been a while since this thread has been commented on but there are a lot of MVOs now in Japan.

If you go to yodobashi camera or big camera in any part of Tokyo, they have a great selection of sim cards.

OCN, rakuten, So-net etc etc

I currently use OCN and it comes with different configs
 

tiartrop

macrumors regular
Oct 28, 2008
136
0
Its been a while since this thread has been commented on but there are a lot of MVOs now in Japan.

If you go to yodobashi camera or big camera in any part of Tokyo, they have a great selection of sim cards.

OCN, rakuten, So-net etc etc

I currently use OCN and it comes with different configs

Prepaid? Then it's a great news indeed! I was just there earlier this year, but didn't pay attention to any availabilities of prepaid sim cards.
Is it easy to get one up and running? (i.e. do you need to provide ID, etc?)
 

iolinux333

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2014
1,798
71
For a small, densely populated, and technologically advanced country, those data plan price are awful!