Tips for cheap internet service for mobile in Japan

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh

This article is being written, to help japanese resident to get cheaper price of smartphone service (phone&internet), especially for semi-long term stay.

Most of you may questioned yourself, about japanese provider;

  • Which provider in Japanese is cheapest in service/phone price?
  • Which provider give good plan with reasonable price?
  • Which provider allow US to buy a second-hand phone/not NEW?


First of all, the ordinary service of smartphone service provider, as lead by Softbank, AU, and docomo. Which basically, we should;

  • buy (new) phone and SIM card from same company
  • have contract every 2 years, and pay every month our expenses of internet and calling, by cash card/credit card. It depends on the provider, but usually we should have contract with internet, even we don’t want. hehe
  • Later, we can change the provider or service in the middle of contract (before 2 years), but pay some cancellation fee (usually around 10.000yen!)
  • For most provider, we can not buy only sim card and use second-hand phone.

Those are normal and general, from few years ago in Japan. The costs are very high, that almost with 3Gb internet service, iphone 6 payment (cheapest phone available at that time), in total is around 9.000yen/month!

But, recently, around 2015, there are several NEW services like mineo, freetel, rakuten card, yahoo mobile, etc.
Which mostly have different features;

  • we can buy only the SIM card (only services; phone and/or internet for smartphone/tablets). which means, we can use (particular) any second hand smartphone.
  • have NO particular time contract, so we can cancel the contract anytime
  • NO cancellation fee
  • the cheap and very reasonable price, comparatively.
  • payment mostly by CREDIT CARD only
  • and until now, still only in japanese. But for some, i believe it will be available on english version as well. But, what you need to know is very simple, and no need for you to understand japanese to conduct the prosedure, all available online, you can finish all prosedure by 30 minutes, even.


So, lets summary how it will cost you!

For example, provider called freetel (check
In the last column, phone+SMS+data 3G : only 1.600 yen/month


In comparison, provider called mineo (check
For example, for dual tipe (data+phone) data 3G, only 1.510yen/month.


It is cheap, right? comparatively. Here, we  should consider many things to decide what company to change. Not just because of price, but also about compatible of phone we want to use.

also for mineo, it is written, for call inside Japan to all provider 40yen/minutes, and 3 yen/SMS. what a cheaper price!


SMS 3円


Next tips, Especially, according to experiences of my friend and me, freetel are openly used for FREE SIM/ UNLOCKED international phone/ UNLOCKED docomo phone from japan.
In the other hand, for mineo, that have their own services for AU phone and Docomo phone. It means, almost all new/second hand AU/Docomo phone in japan can be use by mineo, but NOT international FREE SIM. You can check compatible device from here.

My experience:
6 months ago, i used iphone 6 from AU. And i decided to change to mineo, with same phone. It costs me the cancellation fee of AU, it hurts! (almost 10.000yen). But i think for longer term, it is fine, because it costs me normally 9000 yen/month with internet 3Gb, with contract 2 years.
Finally i changed my provider, and took time around 1-2 week until my new card from mineo arrived to my home. And from time it is activated, My provider finally is mineo.
My phone is normal iphone 6, still locked by AU. It works fine, with no problem with call or internet.

Thats all!

I hope it helps. Leave your comment if any.


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