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  1. #1
    I'm a total loser and I've been banned!!!
    Join Date
    09-07-2002
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    9

    Trip to Japan - Staying connected

    I've been tapped by my company to work on a project (if we get it) to go to Japan for 2 - 6 months. I've been trying to figure out the best way to stay intouch with the family in the states.

    I've learned that Japan is practically all GSM. I'm on Verizon which is CDMA. The Verizon solution, some sort of World Phone, is expensive and calls are not cheap.

    What I was HOPING was to get a WiFi card for the 7135 and jump onto a WiFi network (which I'm sure there's lots there) and email friends and family. But that idea is blown out of the water.

    I've come up with a great solution for emailing pics. I got an inexpensive, small digital camera that uses the SD cards. Take pictures. Remove card. Put in 7135. Email. But no WiFi pretty much disconnects the final step in my connectivity plans.

    The only decent solution I can come up with is to get a T-Mobile GSM phone with a pay-as-you-go plan. Also, I buy the Tungsten C with built-in WiFi.

    So, now I've got three things to carry - a phone, camera and PDA.
    None of them very large. So, it's not that bad of a plan.

    My company may give me a laptop, but I don't really want to carry that around town. Hard to be spontaneous with a laptop.

    Anybody have a comments on my plan?

    thanks!

    johnnygeneric

  2. #2
    Registered User BigBuddha's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-12-2003
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    14
    johnnygeneric,

    I just finished a 6-month assignment in Japan that lasted a little over a year. It's a great place to live.

    You're right, the 7135 will not work in Japan. Mine has been there: 7135's Around The Globe: A Photo Gallery

    I think AU and a couple of other carriers are just starting to offer CDMA networks, but do not allow non-carrier phones to connect.


    A couple of thoughts on your plan:

    Take the laptop, get a cable hook-up in your apartment (if you're living in a hotel then you'll already have high-speed connection) and send e-mails and photos at the end of the day or on the weekend. For me, anyone I wanted to e-mail was in bed sleeping when I sent anything during the day anyway.

    You can also get a network card through a cell phone company and connect from anywhere.

    The other option is to buy a cell phone in Japan. I highly recommend this option. All of their phones include cameras and their service will always have an e-mail account or some sort of photo-sending service available. I had a phone through Docomo and was able to take pictures and send them to e-mail addresses without even paying for the e-mail service. Since you're only connecting to the cell network it gets charged as a local call.

    One additional note, a wired phone in an apartment or house is unreasonably expensive, due to various install fees and taxes. Most short term visitors will only get a cell phone anyway.

    Enjoy

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-31-2005
    Location
    Germany
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    20
    Originally posted by BigBuddha
    johnnygeneric,


    The other option is to buy a cell phone in Japan. I highly recommend this option. All of their phones include cameras and their service will always have an e-mail account or some sort of photo-sending service available. I had a phone through Docomo and was able to take pictures and send them to e-mail addresses without even paying for the e-mail service. Since you're only connecting to the cell network it gets charged as a local call.


    Enjoy
    Thats amazing isnt it. When I got back to the states in 2002 after spending 4 years in Okinawa, I was talking to someone and he was trying to show off his brand new 1st ever camera phone. I then had to bust out my Japanese cell from 1998-1999 and show him up. Not only was mine smaller it had more "fun" options a better screen and a little bit higher res. camera. I also already had mp3 ring tones. I was running DoCoMo as well. I loved the phone and the plan...free incoming calls and outgoing calls were dirt cheap. I never paid more then $30 a month with very high usage on the phone, both in country and international calls! Thier plans and phones are light years ahead of ours here in the states!

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    07-24-2002
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    The cell phones from other countries do not work in Japan.
    Technically, they also have CDMA technology, but they have swapped transmit/receive frequencies in order to keep their cell phone market from foreign vendors. Very stupid idea, oh well.

    I am from there. When I go there, for more than two weeks and less than a month, I usually buy prepaid cell phone (usually Vodaphone). You would need some kind of ID to buy one, though. They ask to keep it for a year, but there is no contract. So, I could stop the service before I left there.

    Too bad that you can not really use 7135, but It might entertain you to try their finger nail sized phone while you stay there. (yeah, i am exaggerating)

    Anyway good luck finding your phone there.

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