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Pocket WiFi Advise Wanted!!!

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Belfast, United...
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38 posts
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Pocket WiFi Advise Wanted!!!

Hello all

I'm on the countdown, 7 weeks today until I fly to Tokyo for my short but hopefully sweet trip (3.5 days)!!

I'm planning on bringing my UK iPhone 4 (O2 contract) with me as I hope to have access to maps etc, however I don't want to be faced with major roaming fees, can anyone recommend or advise me on their experience of pocket wifi from suppliers such as Global, SoftBank, etc?

Apologies in advance as no doubt you are probably tired of answering q's such as this! I have done some of my own research to get an idea of price etc but would love to hear other user's experiences to get a feel for coverage reviews etc so that I can make an informed purchase!

Thanks

Edited: 02 February 2012, 09:13
Belfast, United...
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38 posts
7 reviews
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1. Re: Pocket WiFi Advise Wanted!!!

Sorry the subject should read *advice*, oops!!

London
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449 posts
21 reviews
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2. Re: Pocket WiFi Advise Wanted!!!

Whatever you do, turn off data roaming (under settings, general, network)! 3G coverage is great... but it's £8 per meg. I bought a data tarriff before the last time I went, and was carefull, but there was a wireless hotspot where I was getting on the Internet but my wife was not. I later found out (from the phone bill) that my connection at that point was at 3G. Noweher near as bad as a friend who just got hit for an £800 bill and they didni't even use Internet or e-mail. Sorry to start off so negatively, and I know you are asking about Global and softbank. I just want to make sure you don't have a bad situation!

Japan seems less setup then Europe with wireless hotspots - though places like Starbucks or McDonalds will have them. In terms of maps, GPS is certainly useable, though on last visit Google maps was not that hot. If you can dig out any offline maps, that is highly recommended.

Ah I hate to be negative about anything Japanese, I'm sure you will have a fantastic time.

tokyo
Destination Expert
for Tokyo
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4,530 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: Pocket WiFi Advise Wanted!!!

Is your iphone unlocked?

Birmingham, United...
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1,255 posts
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4. Re: Pocket WiFi Advise Wanted!!!

I found on my trip last year that finding free wifi was very hit and miss. Although my phone picked up that there was wifi in McD's actually logging on was too much hassle and gave up in the end. In saying that I did find pocket of areas with free wifi (Including standing outside the Apple shop in Ginza). Overall it was difficult and certainly harder to find free wifi areas than China

Sydney, Australia
2 posts
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5. Re: Pocket WiFi Advise Wanted!!!

I rented a pocket wifi from Telecom Square at Narita Airport. I originally wanted to go with Softbank as I'd heard of them before, but their office was closed by the

time I landed (7:15pm local time).

The cost was 15,750 yen for 14 days. Their daily rate is 1,260 yen per day and they offer unlimited data. No idea if thats cheap as noone else was open to compare.

Hope that helps!

Sydney, Australia
2 posts
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6. Re: Pocket WiFi Advise Wanted!!!

Edit: double post

Edited: 02 February 2012, 13:20
Amstelveen, The...
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300 posts
13 reviews
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7. Re: Pocket WiFi Advise Wanted!!!

Global Advanced Comm was excellent. I used their service three weeks ago, for a week. Rented pocket wifi with 42mbps, which is extremely fast, as the typical pocket wifi is half the speed or a lot less. I picked up at Narita and mailed it back at Narita before leaving, the return envelope was included in the parcel I picked up. All very easy and user friendly and easy to connect. I wouldn't go with Softbank if I could avoid, their coverage is not as good as other carriers.

Also pick up a mobile usb battery to charge your pocket wifi on the road if you don't have one. The battery lasts only for about 4-5 hrs. You can buy them at electronic stores.

Tokyo, Japan
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22,921 posts
119 reviews
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8. Re: Pocket WiFi Advise Wanted!!!

I recommend renting a pocket wi-fi device at the Airport. If you worry about the battery time, I recommend cutting the device off when not in use. Wi-fi network is developed in Japanese cities, but they are usually coded and payable through convenience stores/electronics shops/internet on a more long-term basis (you might need a permanent address as well as a bank account for that). Free wi-fi spots are expanding, but you'll need Japanese searching abilities and local geographical knowledge to find them when needed.

If you don't have to carry the iphone everywhere you go, consider bringing a laptop instead. Most if not all Japanese hotels above the budget chain class provide free high-speed wired LAN in the room (except some 4-5 stars class which stick to the old practice of charging you for internet). The mix of digital and analog is usually the best way in practice: printing maps beforehand is actually the easiest and fastest way to navigate yourself.

Going analog and asking local people questions is the best way, actually. It's much more fun to communicate with real people than having to wait for seconds, even minutes for your unreliable devices to turn on and function.

Edited: 02 February 2012, 14:48
Aoyama Dori and San...
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9,424 posts
25 reviews
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9. Re: Pocket WiFi Advise Wanted!!!

I concur with post #7. I'll be picking up my Global Advanced pocket wifi unit next week. I've used them in the past without problems. Total cost was approximately Y10000 for 13 days.

tokyo
Destination Expert
for Tokyo
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4,530 posts
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10. Re: Pocket WiFi Advise Wanted!!!

If your iphone is unlocked, then I recommend buying a prepaid microsim data card, much cheaper then renting a wifi device for a week.

If you own a mifi device already that is unlocked you can input a prepaid data sim card in and have the same services at a cheaper price then rental as well.