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  • Softbank cell/internet/television package?

    Hi-hi,

    Just did a search and didn't find much on this specific subject... wondering if you can help?
    Does Softbank offer cellphone, internet and television packages? It looks like they are affiliated with SpinNet and one of the posts in my search said that they do some pretty hardcore web-filtering. I'll probably go with other GP users' advice of hitting up Newsgroups instead of torrenting, anyways, but I digress.

    I know there's J:Com which actually looks pretty good. I'd like to be with Softbank, as, when we move to Japan, I'd like to get an iPhone (for the GPS map function). Would I have any options with Softbank?

    Actually, I have a few more questions, if I may ask:

    - in the posts I read during my search, many users seem to want a landline. I've been living (in Canada) without a landline for over 8 years, so I am wondering if having one in Japan is important?

    - would it be prudent for my wife and I to consider being with the same cell phone carrier? Do they offer "free au-to-au calling" or "free Softbank-to-Softbank calling"?

    Thank-you for your advice!

  • #2
    Originally posted by kickFlip View Post
    Hi-hi,

    Just did a search and didn't find much on this specific subject... wondering if you can help?
    Does Softbank offer cellphone, internet and television packages? It looks like they are affiliated with SpinNet and one of the posts in my search said that they do some pretty hardcore web-filtering. I'll probably go with other GP users' advice of hitting up Newsgroups instead of torrenting, anyways, but I digress.

    I know there's J:Com which actually looks pretty good. I'd like to be with Softbank, as, when we move to Japan, I'd like to get an iPhone (for the GPS map function). Would I have any options with Softbank?

    Actually, I have a few more questions, if I may ask:

    - in the posts I read during my search, many users seem to want a landline. I've been living (in Canada) without a landline for over 8 years, so I am wondering if having one in Japan is important?

    - would it be prudent for my wife and I to consider being with the same cell phone carrier? Do they offer "free au-to-au calling" or "free Softbank-to-Softbank calling"?

    Thank-you for your advice!
    AU can offer mobile, internet and TV as they are part of the KDDI group:

    http://www.auone-net.jp/index.html

    I haven't seen a similar lineup from Softbank or Docomo.

    You can get free AU to AU calling on AU and free Softbank to Softbank calling on SB, depending on which plan you choose. Docomo probably offer the same, but I haven't looked.

    Traditional landlines are relatively expensive and I think many people survive without one.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by iago View Post
      AU can offer mobile, internet and TV as they are part of the KDDI group:

      http://www.auone-net.jp/index.html

      I haven't seen a similar lineup from Softbank or Docomo.

      You can get free AU to AU calling on AU and free Softbank to Softbank calling on SB, depending on which plan you choose. Docomo probably offer the same, but I haven't looked.

      Traditional landlines are relatively expensive and I think many people survive without one.
      Thanks very much for your tips. I checked out the Au One site you linked and it looks pretty good. Softbank seems to me like it's a mobile-focused carrier and doesn't offer television or internet services. Too bad, as I really would like to get an iPhone.

      Okay, so my options are down to Au One (lots of options of mobile phones) and J:Com. I've read in other posts on Gaijin Pot that Yahoo BB is the sux0rz, so I won't even consider them right now (and I'm not sure if they have mobile and television offerrings).

      Now that Softbank is not a top-contender for me any longer (I really want an iPhone for Google Maps), could anyone recommend a specific cellphone/carrier that would give excellent Maps service (in Eigo)? Not sure what the availability of Android-based phones are in Japan, but I'm guessing that those would be the next best choice. Any carriers that offer Android phones?

      Thanks again for your suggestions!

      Comment


      • #4
        KickFlip,

        Why is it so important to have the same carrier for your mobile, TV and internet?
        I could be wrong but I doubt you'd save much money by having the 3 under the same umbrella.

        You definitely want to have the same carrier as your wife as stated. save a bundle in calling costs.

        As for the landline...
        Those more up with techno trends go with an IP phone via their internet provider if they want a home phone.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by PUNCHtoTHEguts View Post
          KickFlip,

          Why is it so important to have the same carrier for your mobile, TV and internet?
          I could be wrong but I doubt you'd save much money by having the 3 under the same umbrella.
          Heya, PunchtotheGuts,

          Since I'm not really up-and-up on the individual costs of these services, I was just trying to combine them, thinking that the total package would bring significant-enough savings to warrant me doing so. But from your impression, we wouldn't be saving much anyways? Could you give an estimated savings of non-packaged vs. packaged services?

          Originally posted by PUNCHtoTHEguts View Post
          You definitely want to have the same carrier as your wife as stated. save a bundle in calling costs.
          Right-o. Will get us both on the same carrier. She's not a gadget-freak at all (that would be me), so as long as she can make calls and send emails, she's good. Hopefully, Softbank's call-quality and data-quality are decent.

          Originally posted by PUNCHtoTHEguts View Post
          As for the landline...
          Those more up with techno trends go with an IP phone via their internet provider if they want a home phone.
          I'm hooked in with Skype, so that takes care of my Internet Phone needs... unless there are other positives of going VOIP vs. Skype?

          Thanks very much for your insight.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by kickFlip View Post
            Heya, PunchtotheGuts,

            Since I'm not really up-and-up on the individual costs of these services, I was just trying to combine them, thinking that the total package would bring significant-enough savings to warrant me doing so. But from your impression, we wouldn't be saving much anyways? Could you give an estimated savings of non-packaged vs. packaged services?
            Haha! Please leave your common sense at immigration when you get to Japan. This is a country that sells beer at the same per-can price regardless of whether it's one beer or a case. If your Japanese ability is low, especially kanji, go with SoftBank and get the iPhone. It will make your life a whole lot easier. Skip a hardline phone and make sure you can get fiber internet. You can also do without paid television for the most part too, especially if you're interested in overseas programming. You'd be better off spending a few bucks a month to get a VPN (virtual private network) so that you can watch all of the streamed shows from your home country.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Shakes Spear View Post
              Haha! Please leave your common sense at immigration when you get to Japan. This is a country that sells beer at the same per-can price regardless of whether it's one beer or a case.
              Okay. Looks like there's going to be a lot I have to get used to when in Japan. Thanks for the down-to-earth example.

              Originally posted by Shakes Spear View Post
              If your Japanese ability is low, especially kanji, go with SoftBank and get the iPhone. It will make your life a whole lot easier.
              I was worried that I might have made a bad decision to go with the iPhone, as I know that there are not that many people with it in Japan... one of the main reasons why I want to go to Japan is to learn the language and culture, as my nihon-go skills are whack right now. I've used a few Japanese cell phones in the past few years and I found that they are just so complicated -- but that may be just the English menu system. Thanks for reassuring me that the iPhone will be useful.

              Originally posted by Shakes Spear View Post
              Skip a hardline phone and make sure you can get fiber internet.
              Wakarima____a. Hikari seems to be the way to go, along with a good newsgroup subscription. It's been several years since I last jumped on newsgroups, but I think I'll get the hang of it pretty quickly. I'll do another search here and on Google to see what newsreader is the best right now. The last one I used was Free Agent and that had a bit of a learning-curve.

              Originally posted by Shakes Spear View Post
              You can also do without paid television for the most part too, especially if you're interested in overseas programming. You'd be better off spending a few bucks a month to get a VPN (virtual private network) so that you can watch all of the streamed shows from your home country.
              I think my wife would like to watch Japanese television and, to be honest, I'm not really a television guy myself. I'd actually rather watch Japanese TV to try to get my listening and reading skills better. But I suppose I will want to watch some of my favourite American programs and will probably download the episodes on my own.

              You guys are awesome. Thanks for taking the time to give me advice on cell phones, internet and television. Any more is much appreciated.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by kickFlip View Post
                I was worried that I might have made a bad decision to go with the iPhone, as I know that there are not that many people with it in Japan... one of the main reasons why I want to go to Japan is to learn the language and culture, as my nihon-go skills are whack right now. I've used a few Japanese cell phones in the past few years and I found that they are just so complicated -- but that may be just the English menu system. Thanks for reassuring me that the iPhone will be useful.
                Actually, iPhone sales have increased significantly in the last year or so. They're quite common now and the perfect solution for you. The ease of use that you need coupled with the educational apps you desire to improve your language ability. I use 'Japanese' by codefromtokyo for my dictionary. It displays Romaji which is almost impossible to find even in a 30,000yen electronic dictionary It's 1,800yen of money well spent. There are also myriad other tools you can get.

                Originally posted by kickFlip View Post
                I think my wife would like to watch Japanese television and, to be honest, I'm not really a television guy myself. I'd actually rather watch Japanese TV to try to get my listening and reading skills better. But I suppose I will want to watch some of my favourite American programs and will probably download the episodes on my own.
                If this is true, then you definitely don't need paid service. The over-the-air programming is sufficient. All of the major shows and events are shown on the 8 or so channels that you get with the standard rooftop antenna. It's not like the U.S. where you get 300 additional stations to choose from with your cable or dish package. Just a few sports and drama channels that you can find with a little effort via internet.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Shakes Spear View Post
                  I use 'Japanese' by codefromtokyo for my dictionary. It displays Romaji which is almost impossible to find even in a 30,000yen electronic dictionary It's 1,800yen of money well spent. There are also myriad other tools you can get.
                  Holy smokes, that app looks really useful. I mainly wanted to get the iPhone for its mapping capabilities, as I know Tokyo might be tough to get around, and totally forgot about the other apps available. Thanks for sharing the link.

                  Originally posted by Shakes Spear View Post
                  If this is true, then you definitely don't need paid service. The over-the-air programming is sufficient. All of the major shows and events are shown on the 8 or so channels that you get with the standard rooftop antenna. It's not like the U.S. where you get 300 additional stations to choose from with your cable or dish package. Just a few sports and drama channels that you can find with a little effort via internet.
                  Ahh, so it's possible to receive television signals without paying? If so, how would this work? Would I need to build my own in-home antenna? This sounds very promising to me, as living well, but frugally will be our motto in Tokyo (if that's even possible).

                  Thanks again for your suggestions.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kickFlip View Post
                    Ahh, so it's possible to receive television signals without paying? If so, how would this work? Would I need to build my own in-home antenna? This sounds very promising to me, as living well, but frugally will be our motto in Tokyo (if that's even possible).
                    Unless you're planning to build your own house you'll probably not have to worry about it. I would say that most have them already so it's just a matter of plugging in your TV. Here's an example of typical houses. Notice all of the antennas?
                    Last edited by Shakes Spear; 2010-04-29, 03:07 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Shakes Spear View Post
                      Unless you're planning to build your own house you'll probably not have to worry about it. I would say that most have them already so it's just a matter of plugging in your TV. Here's an example of typical houses. Notice all of the antennas?
                      W00t. So, what you're talking about is like super basic cable in North America, right? Sounds good to me.

                      Thanks heaps for all your advice, Shakes Spear. I'll probably post more questions on this board and welcome your insight on those.

                      Comment

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