Will iPhone 3G work in Japan? With prepaid SIM?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by urbanmojo, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. urbanmojo macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2009

    I am going to Tokyo for one week and would like to use the iPhone there for local calls and internet. I was wondering if anyone familiar with Japan can tell me if I can get a prepaid SIM card there and if I will be able to get data and voice working. I tried searching the internet but get all kinds of contradictory info.

    If so, where is the best place to get a SIM card--and which carriers offer?

    BTW, the phone 3.0 FW and is unlocked with ultrasn0w.
  2. The Californian macrumors 68040

    The Californian

    Jan 17, 2009
    Surfers Paradise
    To the best of my knowledge, you should be able to ... That's the point of unlocking ... right?
  3. david803sc macrumors member


    Jul 11, 2008
    Lake Wylie, SC
    I believe Japan uses different frequencies than the rest of the world, I believe they use 2100 MHZ, but they phone companies there rent GSM 2100 MHZ phones at the airport that you can put your sim into.

  4. cmaier macrumors G4

    Jul 25, 2007
    Can't speak for all of Japan, but when I stopped in the airport on the way home from Korea my iPhone didn't see any signal.
  5. pauld macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2003
    Tokyo (London for the holidays!)
    Should be fine with the Softbank 3G sim ( http://www.softbank-rental.jp/en/phones/sim3g.php ) - I did this with a standard Sony Ericsson 3G phone last year and it was fine.

    Edge/GPRS coverage probably isn't going to happen. Also be really wary of the data charges - I'm yet to get my head around the rate per "packet" charge.
  6. stylinexpat macrumors 65816


    Mar 6, 2009
    The Japanese and Koreans don't sell unlocked sim cards to non-locals. Only locals can buy their SIM catrds:rolleyes: Tourists and visitors are not important to them.
  7. smartcards macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2010
    Washington DC area
    Prepaid GSM SIM card use in Japan

    GSM 2100 or UMTS 2100 or WCDMA is available in Japan. NTT DoCoMo and using SmartFree prepaid GSM SIM cards with an unlocked iPhone 3g will work in the major cities of Japan.
  8. esskay macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    Hey guys, just so I can clarify -- my wife is going to Japan next week. She has a box stock iPhone 3GS (AT&T/US). It is not jailbroken or unlocked, it is totally unmodified. So is it correct that she will NOT be able to use a prepaid Japanese SIM in her iPhone unless it is unlocked? Any suggestions? Is unlocking the only solution in this case if she wants to use her iPhone?

    She has a Japanese passport so not worried about the residency issues/etc to get SIM cards there.

    Thanks everyone!
  9. Espionage32 macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2009
    I was just in Japan. If you jailbreak then unlock your phone you can use a pre-paid sim card. You will only be able to make phone calls and such. Unless you pay for the date-plan sim cards.

Share This Page