Will my 8gb JB/Unlocked Iphone 3g work in Japan

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by Harrijunsun, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. Harrijunsun macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2009
    Hello everyone i am new to this forum. I have been looking for an answer to my question the past few days and have not been able to find a solid answer. So let me try it in a forum. Will my 8gb jailbroken/unlocked iphone running 3.1.2 firmware work in Japan using a prepaid sim? I do not want to use my at&t sim while i am over there. I will be in Japan Feb 10th for about 3 weeks (Okinawa for a week then main land Japan). I heard i can get a sim from Softbank but i will have a data issue. I will have access to the PX if i need to get on base also. Basically i want to be able to access data more than calling. I want to be able to run text apps such as Ping, Free Foto Messenger, etc... Please help.
  2. JD914 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    Dutchess County NY
    Yes it will as long as long as the cell provider you have the SIM for runs on GSM network.
  3. NewGenAdam macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
    hi, welcome! I'm so jealous of you. Would love to be heading back to Japan!

    If your phone is a 3G it'll definitely work. Not sure about the original.
    But good luck if you want to get a Japanese sim card. It's nowhere near as easy as home (UK). They don't just sell pay as you use sims cheap, and usually require a national address.
    The only practical thing I found was a 'gaijin sim' from docomo, but it's horrendously expensive.
    Ironic that getting mobile data is so hard in such an advanced country...

    When I went, I ended up without a sim. Used payphones, and the extensive wifi in youth hostels etc. Hope you have better luck than I did finding something!
    If you don't, make the most of obligatory time offline. And exploit wifi.
  4. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007

    Just so anyone needing to know, knows: the Original (2G/EDGE-only) iPhone will not work in Japan. However, the 3G and 3GS will work.

    Japan does not have a 2G GSM network, but does have UMTS networks as well as a FOMA network which is compatible with HSPA.
  5. Harrijunsun thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2009
    Thank you everyone. Well I hope i am able to find something that will work. Was thinking about getting a rental phone and putting the sim in my iphone. Yeah Japan is so advanced but i don't know why its so hard just to get Data LOL
  6. nastebu macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2008
    If you're in Japan for a long period of time you can get an account with Softbank and put the iPhone on it. It's relatively inexpensive, but to accomplish this you need a residency card, a Japanese bank account, and pretty good Japanese.

    If you're in the country for a short time, getting a rental phone and putting the sim in it will probably not work. Why not just rent a phone and use the iPhone as a iPod Touch?

    It's worth saying also that wi-fi is not at all ubiquitous in Japan. Very few cafes offer it free, and "internet cafes" are creepy places you feel kind of grimy just walking inside. And they offer computers, but usually not wi-fi.
  7. nastebu macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2008
    Data plans on cell phones in Japan are almost universal. Everyone uses their mobile for email and web. However, Japanese cell companies are super careful about fraud. It's the same thing with banks. Using internet banking in Japan is hilariously complicated because of all the levels of fraud protection.
  8. pesawyer macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Yes it will work with a prepaid SIM from Softbank I know for sure as I have done it recently. I now have an iPhone plan from Softbank that is very reasonable but is a two year contract. Might not be the best solution for you. There are Softbank and AU concessions on the bases that will help you, English only is not a problem.

    Pre-paid sim phones at the Softbank Concession on base are about $50. Then the phone charges. I didn't use data and am not sure about that aspect of a pre-paid SIM.

    On the MCCS provides wireless access at hotspots throughout the bases in Okinawa, accounts are free, you just need to show your ID. That will give you data access on the base. Of the base is another story. Bring a wireless travel router with you for hotels and you could use it there also.

    Hope this helps.

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