No service in Tokyo

homeschoolfamily2004

    We are vising Tokyo now and all phones on our account say "no service." When we first arrived I did receive a text from Tmobile saying "Welcome to Japan! Your tmobile plan gives you unlimited data at 2g speeds, calls at 20 cents and free texts. Any ideas why are not receiving service? We have 2 Nokia Lumia 635 windows phones, WinJr Blu windows phone, and iPhone 4.

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      • sneakymoose

        Re: No service in Tokyo

        I think you'll have some difficulty getting your phones working there because the radio frequencies and waveforms supported by your handsets aren't well supported by Japanese mobile towers. For instance, I looked up your Lumia 635 specifications and compared them to the frequencies used in Japan. The only thing that seemed to line up was 900 MHz HSDPA on SoftBank's network. So you may see some text messaging and limited data capability while you're near a compatible SoftBank tower, but maybe they aren't available or compatible where you happen to be.

         

        Tech specs: Nokia Lumia 635

        Japan - Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki - Wikia

         

        Another option you might consider is renting a smart phone and SIM card from one of the providers listed at the above link.

         

        I visited Japan for a few weeks last year and was able to use my Lumia 925 with T-Mobile services while there, but it was intermittent at times and largely unavailable while traveling (e.g. while on shinkansen). Newer phones, especially mid-to-high end ones (e.g. Lumia 950, iPhone 6, Galaxy S6), have significantly better radio support and will work much more frequently on overseas networks.

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        • tmo_mike_c

          Re: No service in Tokyo

          I agree that between the devices supported frequencies and the frequencies that Japan offers, it may be a challenge to get connected. You could try manually searching for networks and see if you're able to connect to Softbank. Calls and messages are most likely going to be how these phones will be able to use the service while you're there.