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Re: [tlug] [OT] Japan SIM card for foreign phone

On Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 7:16 PM, Nikolay Elenkov <> wrote:
On 09/19/2013 01:39 AM, Bruno Raoult wrote:
> Hi,
> In 2008-2009, there was a discussion here about the possibility to get a
> SIM card for a foreign phone. It seemed difficult/impossible. Did the
> things change? This will not be a short-term stay, and I will have an
> address.

There was a discussion about this recently, check the archives.
Basically, if you have an unlocked phone you can use any SIM.
The big carriers don't usually offers SIMs only, but MVNOs do.
There are a few nowadays, bmobile is probably the best
(uses the Docomo network):

In fact I did search archives for "sim" before sending this email. Recent discussion
was more about prepaid cards and unlocking (but I did not open mails themselves,
just reading subjects and the first line). The 2008 discussion seemed more near what
I am looking for (real contract, same as if I would get if I one of their phones).
About searching archives, I think it would better to have a date-based result, instead
of the current one. I did not understand this was a Google search at first and I was
puzzled :-)

Thanks for the links.
> PS. I really don't understand the rationale on these limitations, as I
> believe mobile operators don't make much money on hardware (I mean compared
> to subscriptions). They even loose money.

But of course they do :) On a 2 year contract they can make up
for any subsidized hardware. But you if cancel and get a contract
from a competitor, they do lose, hence the whole locking BS.

I made the maths, and don't get it.

FYI, in France, the "Free" operator got already 10% of market share in one year
(starting from zero), offering only subscription (and low prices). No phones at all
(I mean no offer for any phone), no shop: you order your sim either by internet,
or regular mal.  (see
And from beginning they decided for no "time lock". You can unsubscribe when
you want, at no cost.

The other operators had to follow, and had to offer equivalent offers, so terrible was the drain.

Clients make the maths, not only the operators.


PS. Surely France is a special case: We had an historical operator, not private.
When the law decided to open the market, FT had the obligation to allow newcomers to
use the infrastructures (owned by France - I mean taxpayer) to rent it.
Free pays a lot for that, while they build their own. End of story.
The hole is done. And a 2 EUR/month is what everybody is dreaming about :-)

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