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

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #1
    Hi:

    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

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise
    #2
    To the best of my knowledge, you should be able to ... That's the point of unlocking ... right?
     
  3. david803sc macrumors member

    david803sc

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Wylie, SC
    #3
    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.

    David
     
  4. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #4
    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

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    Tokyo (London for the holidays!)
    #5
    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 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #6
    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

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Washington DC area
    #7
    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

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    #8
    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 member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #9
    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.
     

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