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Re: [tlug] [OT] Short-term cell phone access (SIM card, etc.)

Hi Lyle,

On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 10:43 AM, Lyle H Saxon <> wrote:
> Will be meeting up with a few people who are visiting Tokyo as tourists and
> I was asked about buying a SIM card here.  I haven't a clue.  Here's the
> relevant stuff I got via three different e-mails from three different
> people.  "A" isn't coming here - only "B" and "C".  Any tips about this?

I know Japan's mobile phone industry is changing and slowly opening up
so I don't know if this is relevant anymore.

But just over a year ago, I had a Japanese phone and an overseas (Hong
Kong) phone and took the SIM cards and switched them "for fun".  And
both phones rejected them.  The whole LCD panel on the phone was
blinking...I thought it was going to explode.  :-)  I shut it down and
switched the cards back and (AFAIK) there was no permanent damage.

Incidentally, the HK phone was a Sony Xperia...  :-P

As for the 3 people:

> A: ".... but usually ST gets his phone unlocked when he travels and then
> switches his SIM card out for an international one so that calls and texts
> are cheaper."
> B: "I'm not sure how we'll be able to get in contact when I'm not at the
> hotel.
> C: "I wanted to ask you about purchasing a SIM for my cell phone.  How does
> that work?  Do I just go to a retailer and purchase one?"

A -- Neither of the phones I tried were unlocked so maybe A is on to
something.  But if the Japanese SIMs are locked, then isn't that going
to cause a problem?

B -- Wi-Fi is hard to find and if you find it, you have to be a
customer of some Internet company first and log in with their user
name / password.

I think things were getting better and I think Docomo or someone was
planning to open up their phones?  So maybe my experience is getting
out of date.

There's always payphones, of course...maybe I'm just too "old school"!  :-)


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