Good news for international travellers, no longer will you have to abandon your mobile phone when you enter Japan. Due to Japan having its own unique 3G mobile phone technology foreign visitors usually find their GSM phones are useless here and are faced with the option of going without mobile phone and internet access or the costly options of renting a phone for the duration of their trip or buying one outright.
However, NTT, Japan’s national telecom company, has announced an affordable solution. On June 25 NTT introduced a mobile phone SIM card for foreign visitors to Japan that will provide up to 100 megabytes of daily data traffic over a two-week period.
By inserting the card into their smartphones, users can gain access to the Internet through NTT Docomo Inc.’s mobile phone communication network, send up to 10,000 text messages and watch YouTube videos for about 45 minutes a day.
The card also enables access to public wireless networks provided by NTT group companies.
Japan Communications Inc. and So-net Corp. earlier developed and provided SIM cards for foreign visitors for the expected increase in tourists ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
NTT Communications said its SIM card sells for 3,500 yen ($34), tax excluded, offering a cheaper price than those of its predecessors.
Before departure from a foreign location, users may purchase their SIM card at http://www.prepaidsim.jp/item_detail. Upon arrival in Japan, the card may be picked up at one of several airport post offices (Narita, Haneda, Kansai, Chubu Centrair, New-Chitose, Fukuoka, Kagoshima or Naha) or certain hotels.
For those already in Japan, the prepaid SIM card may be purchased from a vending machine at Narita Excel Hotel Tokyu (http://www.tokyuhotelsjapan.com/en/TE/TE_NARIT) or at a XCom Global, Inc. (http://www.globaldata.jp/) counter at Narita, Haneda, Kansai or Chubu Centrair airport.
Sales in Hong Kong and Taiwan are planned from this summer. Additional purchase points, including vending machines, travel agents and hotels, are expected to be added.
As a further convenience, including unrestricted data, travelers are encouraged to apply for the Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi service (http://www.ntt-bp.net/jcfw/en.html), which provides access to about 18,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots around Japan, including at major airports, stations and shops. Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi is provided by NTT-BP, an NTT Group company.
Sources: The Asahi Newspaper, Yahoo.co.uk
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