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Best deal for prepaid mobile

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  • Best deal for prepaid mobile

    Gaijinpot's resource page on Living in Japan - Telephone Communication reads...

    ...Prepaid mobile phones do not require id, or minimum monthly payments. You buy your phone (usually free-2000 yen) and a prepaid card for about 3000 yen or 5,000 yen. You dial a number to activate your credit then you're away!

    I am interested in getting a prepaid phone. I think Docomo discontinued its prepaid service and AU doesn't offer e-mail on its prepaid phones, which leaves me with Vodafone. But I was surprised to read that someone paid 4000 yen for one of the cheapest models (V102D). Is this <<usually free-2000 yen>> just a fond Gaijinpot memory? Or is there another company out there that offers a better deal than Vodafone? Since I don't call much from my mobile, I basically want a cheap phone that gets free incoming calls and e-mails.

  • #2
    Vodafone do the V102D but you do require id. Yodobashi Camera, Shinjuku. Your passport will do.

    Or you can go around Shinjuku and there are guys selling them on the streets.

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    • #3
      Other prepaid providers?

      I also found Domoco ended their pre-paid plans. Vodaphon have very poor coverage, so any other suggestions, as I'm on the edge of Tokyo?

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      • #4
        I have an old model V101D. I paid about 4000 yen for it from a convenience store. This was the cheapest prepaid phone two years ago. When you actually buy your phone check that it is bilingual! My phone is not. The next model up was bilingual and that cost about 7000 yen.

        Vodafone is the only company to do prepaid phones now I think.

        As for costs... well prepaid makes sense for me. I go through my 3000 yen card in 6-8 weeks. I don't use it for talking (apart for the odd time I have to confirm something with someone) just texting and receiving calls.
        Last edited by sunsoul; 2006-07-25, 05:24 PM.

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        • #5
          Vodafone = awful

          I'm new here (in fact found this site/thread because of this topic), but just my two cents: I signed up with Vodafone earlier in the spring, on supposedly one of their better phones (the V401D), and am very unhappy with the service. The poor-reception reputation is well-deserved...it is absolutely horrible. And since much of my need for the phone is business-oriented, it's gotten to the point where it's intolerable. Today even in the Marunouchi area of all places, I had a terrible time trying to maintain a conversation, and it was a business call and invariably left a poor impression I'm sure. I signed up with Vodafone through my original language school here, not knowing any better, but first chance I get after I get my working visa, I will be switching to another provider. To me, Vodafone was the purest in wasted money...a really poor provider.

          Anyway just thought I'd post a quick note about my frustrations, to help future folks avoid my same mistake. I'm new in Japan but I cannot believe that a company with the poor quality that Vodafone has here, can survive long-term in the japanese market (and the recent Softbank thing is just another indicating nail in the coffin). My advice/experience: avoid Vodafone.

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          • #6
            I got a free vodaphone prepaid in shinjuku in december (there were guys selling them in the street) seemed to work ok around central tokyo. the email address is an ugly one though.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by yogert909
              I got a free vodaphone prepaid in shinjuku in december (there were guys selling them in the street) seemed to work ok around central tokyo. the email address is an ugly one though.
              You can change your address name. There is an option to do that on your phone.

              My Vodafone prepaid has been fine for me. But I don't call much..

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sunsoul
                You can change your address name. There is an option to do that on your phone.
                Thanks for the tip sunsoul; I'll try it next week when I reactivate the phone.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by yogert909
                  I got a free vodaphone prepaid in shinjuku in december (there were guys selling them in the street) seemed to work ok around central tokyo. the email address is an ugly one though.
                  Hi.

                  Since I don't have a gajin card. I need one, too.

                  Near which exit can I purchase a prepaid phone. And how much should I expect to pay.

                  Thanks.

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                  • #10
                    I think you'll still need to have a gaijin card or a japanese friend to sign up for you.

                    I got mine in kabukicho (north exit?). There were some guys who had set up a small shop on the corner of one of the main streets there and were shouting through bullhorns. They said they were only there for 2 days and the place was empty next time I passed by. I think it was on a weekend so I'd imagine friday and saturday nights would be your best luck finding them.

                    best of luck

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                    • #11
                      When you buy a prepaid phone in the convenience store you need to have a gaijin card....

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                      • #12
                        those guys selling vodafone prepaids on the street in kabukicho are always there off and on. they probably don't check id.

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                        • #13
                          Re: KDDI AU have prepaid...but?

                          Originally posted by sunsoul
                          Vodafone is the only company to do prepaid phones now I think.
                          Its not true that Vodafone are the only to offer pre-paid. Talked to KDDI-AU at the wireless conference in Big Sight last week, they showed me their current (July'06) Japanese catalogue with pre-paids > though I'm guessing that they are not bilingual. I've yet to find that out. So you might have to toss up the merits of better coverage/reception (AU) vs bilingual capability (ability to write English text). I think most of us want simple functionality, but texting is very important these days. Both services have email. Yet to get all the info on AU.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Shouganai
                            Its not true that Vodafone are the only to offer pre-paid. Talked to KDDI-AU at the wireless conference in Big Sight last week, they showed me their current (July'06) Japanese catalogue with pre-paids > though I'm guessing that they are not bilingual. I've yet to find that out. So you might have to toss up the merits of better coverage/reception (AU) vs bilingual capability (ability to write English text). I think most of us want simple functionality, but texting is very important these days. Both services have email. Yet to get all the info on AU.
                            I would like to hear what you find out. I thought AU used to provide a prepaid service, but finished with it...

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                            • #15
                              *have one now*
                              Last edited by robolove; 2006-08-03, 12:38 AM.

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