Japan is a pioneer in mobile phone technology: they conceptualized incorporating features such as cameras, internet browsers, games, GPS navigation, and music players.
Today’s modern world has made it essential to stay connected using our mobile phones and the internet. It’s always important to be able to keep in touch with family and friends whenever travelling abroad. Since it can be quite expensive to use the roaming feature of your current local service provider, you’ll save money in the long run if you use Japanese Wi-Fi or mobile phone service providers.
Will your mobile phone work in Japan?
Voice – There is no GSM (Global System for Mobile) network in Japan, so GSM-only mobile phones will not work in Japan. Most recent models of mobile phones are generally compatible with Japanese mobile phone networks (3G UMTS 2100 MHz, 3G CDMA2000 800 MHz, or LTE band 1). Cellphone units that are 3G and 4G are compatible with one or more of the Japanese mobile phone networks using international roaming via your home-based service provider or using a prepaid SIM card from a Japanese service provider.
Data – mobile phones that can be used for voice can also work for receiving and sending data like emails, text messages, and surfing the web. You can stay connected either through your home-based service provider (check rates with your local service provider) or using a rented/prepaid SIM card.
Free Wi-Fi in Japan
Free Wi-Fi is growing in Japan. It is a convenient way for many tourists and visitors to stay connected. You can also try using the Wi-Fi with SSID (access point identification number) “0000FLETS-POTAL” to access an internet connection. This Wi-Fi service is provided by many business establishments including shop owners to show “Omotenashi” or hospitality to customers from other parts of the world. Free Wi-Fi in Japan using SSID (access point identification number) “0000FLETS-POTAL” has about 50,000 Wi-Fi spots in the NTT East area, all of which use high-speed and high-quality optical fiber. It covers eastern Japan from Hokkaido to Tohoku and Kanto regions, so service is available in Tokyo as well as other major tourist areas such as Sapporo, Yokohama, Yamanashi,and Nikko. You can use free Wi-Fi up to twice a day for 15 minutes at a time.
There are also “free Wi-Fi cards” distributed at tourist attractions in the NTT East area. You can use the Wi-Fi service as much as you want for 14 days.
The free, easy-to-use “Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi” app is a must for anyone planning a trip to Japan. It is a wonderful way for many travelers to access numerous free Wi-Fi spots with different SSIDs in places like airports, stations, and various commercial facilities that are connected with this app. It is available in English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Thai, Malay, Indonesian, French, Spanish, and German (as of February 2015) and it is very simple to use. Install the app, go to a Wi-Fi spot that works with the app, and just tap “Connect”. The number of connections permitted and the maximum length of use varies for each service provider.