Poll

Which cellphone company do you use?

AU
15 (68.2%)
Softbank
6 (27.3%)
DoCoMo
1 (4.5%)

Total Members Voted: 22

Author Topic: Cellphone service - Which company do you use?  (Read 6183 times)

Offline fred

  • Fred
  • Administrator
  • Ultimate YETI Gibbon
  • *****
  • Posts: 11,133
    • View Profile
Re: Cellphone service - Which company do you use?
« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2013, 02:42:57 PM »
AU.
Other Yamanashi foreigners told me Docomo had dodgy reception in Yamanashi and Softbank were just bad.
Which doesn't quite seem true.

The general concensus that I have heard is that Docomo has the best geographical coverage and is the strongest in places like Hayakawa/Taba. AU is pretty good unless you are in the deep inaka and Softbank is just bad. However, I don't know how much softbank has improved since the last bitching session about its reception though.

As for tethering being better than pocket wifi, I am not too sure about that.
A lot of people have given it back but I think they were expecting something good enough to use at home instead of a normal connection, which is not the case.

Pocket wifi will be atleast as good as tethering as you are paying about 4,000 a month for it and it is totally portable. I'd say that if you don't need portability all the time, you would be better off with getting a permanent connection and optional wireless router for roughly the same money and you get a better connection.
Then, you can use the tehtering option on your phone when you need portable internet.
Terra, in your case maybe you can ask to add a wireless router to their internet connection. You can pick a router up for less than 3000 yen these days.


Offline Karurosu

  • Teacher
  • Gen. Gorilla
  • *****
  • Posts: 869
  • Creepin' in Kofu...
    • View Profile
Re: Cellphone service - Which company do you use?
« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2013, 03:06:49 PM »
Question: My 2 year AU contract will run out in a few months. Does anyone know if AU automatically enters you into a new time-locked contract or if it simply continues your current payment plan on a month by month basis until you cancel? I'm leaving next year and I don't want to be locked into anything.

I chose AU because it's reputed to have the best coverage in the area. I've never had any problems.

Offline Pnut

  • Administrator
  • Turtle Face
  • *****
  • Posts: 62
    • View Profile
Re: Cellphone service - Which company do you use?
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2013, 03:06:58 PM »
I have pocket wifi from AU.  I bought it to use as internet at work since my phone doesn't support tethering.  It works well for what I use it for, but I wouldn't recommend it as an alternative to a regular internet connection at home.  I don't have any coverage problems (here in Hokuto, at least), but the connection isn't fast enough for, say, easily streaming youtube videos.

Note: I'm also using it on my ancient netbook, so that could be part of my problem as well.

Offline Terranasaurus Rex

  • Teacher
  • Sasquatch
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,198
  • Cad é sin do'n té sin
    • View Profile
Re: Cellphone service - Which company do you use?
« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2013, 03:28:16 PM »
Terra, in your case maybe you can ask to add a wireless router to their internet connection. You can pick a router up for less than 3000 yen these days.

No, I'm saying I don't think they have an internet connection AT ALL at home. Don't think I've seen a computer anywhere in their home.
Students of mine involved in traffic accidents:

Since April 2013: 1
In 2012/13: 8

Offline OxO

  • Teacher
  • Sasquatch
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,514
    • View Profile
Re: Cellphone service - Which company do you use?
« Reply #34 on: July 08, 2013, 03:28:36 PM »
Quote
Pocket wifi will be atleast as good as tethering as you are paying about 4,000 a month for it and it is totally portable. I'd say that if you don't need portability all the time, you would be better off with getting a permanent connection and optional wireless router for roughly the same money and you get a better connection.
Then, you can use the tehtering option on your phone when you need portable internet.
Terra, in your case maybe you can ask to add a wireless router to their internet connection. You can pick a router up for less than 3000 yen these days.
Are you sure about this monthly charge?
I've got a au mobile internet thing that I've never used, they just up and set it to me one day, doesnt seem to be anything extra on my bill.

Question: My 2 year AU contract will run out in a few months. Does anyone know if AU automatically enters you into a new time-locked contract or if it simply continues your current payment plan on a month by month basis until you cancel? I'm leaving next year and I don't want to be locked into anything.

I chose AU because it's reputed to have the best coverage in the area. I've never had any problems.

I'm wondering about this one too. Would like to change my phone to something more modern if my contract is over.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2013, 03:30:42 PM by OxO »
毒食らわば皿まで

Offline shneen

  • Teacher
  • Ltn. Wolf
  • *****
  • Posts: 391
    • View Profile
Re: Cellphone service - Which company do you use?
« Reply #35 on: July 08, 2013, 03:31:06 PM »
So in a nutshell tethering > pocket wifi? Seems cheaper for sure. I am not sure if the family I am moving in with actually has internet at home or not (gotta double check), but I don't think they do so I am looking at my options. Recently I don't really stream or download. Skype and online dictionaries/study things are what I am most concerned about.

I may have to look to upgrading to an AU smartphone that has a good tethering option.

Most people I know that have been unhappy with  pocket wifi  were trying to use it as a replacement for hard wired home internet, which is not really what it's designed for.

I tether through my ipad all the time and don't really have any problems.  The tethering option through au is free for two years (525 yen/month after that).  When I have my laptop tethered, it works well for getting around on the internet and email and such... not so great for downloading or doing a bunch of streaming.
Another thing to keep in mind is that they have a fair usage policy in place...  while your data is unlimited persay, if you go over 7gb they throttle your speed until the end of the month.   In general, while it's fine for while I'm at work (no computer at one of my schools so I bring my personal laptop), or while I'm traveling, I wouldn't want it as my main internet connection at home.


Question: My 2 year AU contract will run out in a few months. Does anyone know if AU automatically enters you into a new time-locked contract or if it simply continues your current payment plan on a month by month basis until you cancel? I'm leaving next year and I don't want to be locked into anything.

I chose AU because it's reputed to have the best coverage in the area. I've never had any problems.

The thing most people get caught off guard with is the daredemo wari (誰でも割), which you probably enrolled in when you got your phone, but check your plan to be sure.  It's a discount service that they offer, and it makes quite a difference in your bill. It's on a two year, automatically renewing contact. In order to cancel without penalty, you have to make sure that you cancel in your renewal month or you'll be charged (around 10,000 yen). HOWEVER, I would double check to see how much is being subtracted under the daredemo wari before you cancel, as it might actually end up being cheaper to you in the long run to pay the cancellation fee when you go home.

If you have any remaining balance on your actual phone itself, then you'll have to pay the remaining installments.

As for your actual voice/data plan, it depends on your plan.... but I'm guessing most people that have come in the last couple of years are under the simple support contract system, in which case there's no penalty for canceling (except the daredemo wari).  But if for some reason you're under the old full support plan (which they don't offer anymore and haven't for some time), as long as you're beyond the two years, you should be ok.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2013, 03:37:53 PM by shneen »

Offline B-roni

  • Teacher
  • Gen. Gorilla
  • *****
  • Posts: 548
    • View Profile
Re: Cellphone service - Which company do you use?
« Reply #36 on: July 08, 2013, 03:34:37 PM »
Question: My 2 year AU contract will run out in a few months. Does anyone know if AU automatically enters you into a new time-locked contract or if it simply continues your current payment plan on a month by month basis until you cancel? I'm leaving next year and I don't want to be locked into anything.

I chose AU because it's reputed to have the best coverage in the area. I've never had any problems.

carlito you should be good and not have to get into another contract again. that 2 years was probably to pay for the phone...  :roll:

not 100% sure though!
B

Offline fred

  • Fred
  • Administrator
  • Ultimate YETI Gibbon
  • *****
  • Posts: 11,133
    • View Profile
Re: Cellphone service - Which company do you use?
« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2013, 04:30:35 PM »
Quote
Pocket wifi will be atleast as good as tethering as you are paying about 4,000 a month for it and it is totally portable. I'd say that if you don't need portability all the time, you would be better off with getting a permanent connection and optional wireless router for roughly the same money and you get a better connection.
Then, you can use the tehtering option on your phone when you need portable internet.
Terra, in your case maybe you can ask to add a wireless router to their internet connection. You can pick a router up for less than 3000 yen these days.
Are you sure about this monthly charge?
I've got a au mobile internet thing that I've never used, they just up and set it to me one day, doesnt seem to be anything extra on my bill.


From what I can see, it is 3980 a month
http://www.au.kddi.com/internet/service/mobile/wimax/


Carlos - Pretty much as Sheena said. I know that you started your contract later than most people, so you won't get a full third year. AU does automatically renew you for the 2 year daredemowari though. If you are on it, then change in that one month window like sheena said.

Terra - No internet at all? Damn, that surprises me!
I have never used pocket wifi but I regularly hit the 7gb limit with my tethering. With the throttled connection, opening up 3 or 4 tabs takes a while, and forget youtube for the most part. Unthrottled, I can't remember but should be better.
Perhaps the pocket wifi is unthrottled?

Offline kelloggs

  • Teacher
  • Captain Kangaroo
  • *****
  • Posts: 148
    • View Profile
Re: Cellphone service - Which company do you use?
« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2013, 05:17:48 PM »
Terra - No internet at all? Damn, that surprises me!
I have never used pocket wifi but I regularly hit the 7gb limit with my tethering. With the throttled connection, opening up 3 or 4 tabs takes a while, and forget youtube for the most part. Unthrottled, I can't remember but should be better.
Perhaps the pocket wifi is unthrottled?

au changed their data usage policy with the pocket wifi back at the beginning of January without notifying customers of the changes before the fact, which is how I was able to get out of the contract and switch to wired internet through NTT/plala.

I should add that, before au started throttling the connection, I was able to stream and even download things, though it was much slower than what I was used to at home. I couldn't have recommended the pocket wifi in good faith last year, and, now that the policy has changed, I can't see why anyone would choose it over a regular home connection (aside from desperation to get internet like I was when I first arrived).
How do you feel about people who go ''Hadouken!''

Offline Terranasaurus Rex

  • Teacher
  • Sasquatch
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,198
  • Cad é sin do'n té sin
    • View Profile
Re: Cellphone service - Which company do you use?
« Reply #39 on: July 20, 2013, 03:59:56 PM »
For lack of a better option (AKA the previously mentioned desperation), I went in today and signed up for the au pocket router wifi.
My plan is to use it for what I really need it for and to bum a friend's internet when I want to do shit like download or watch youtube videos.

One thing I wanted to mention was where you live determines how much the service costs. Where I live now, because Hikari is NOT available, the pocket wifi thing is cheaper by about 1000 a month. (Making it 2000+ cheaper than my current wired internet...so not an AWFUL deal). BUT at my new address Hikari internet is available, so it would be more. The woman at the shop however very quietly and sweetly suggested that I 'forget' to come in and update my address when I move  :-D  :evil: :roll:

She also signed me up for every discount she possibly could and we chatted about English and living abroad and people we knew in common. I would highly suggest that whatever cellphone service you use, you make friends with the person helping you!
Students of mine involved in traffic accidents:

Since April 2013: 1
In 2012/13: 8