Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bmobile Talking 1GB flat rate SIM


スマートフォンをご利用のお客様のうち、85%の方々のひと月あたりのデータ使用量は1GB以下です。しかし、残りの15%の方、特に上位2%の方がモバイル網の50%を使用しているのが今日の実態です。これは即ち、85%を含む圧倒的多くの利用者は、携帯電話事業者に、高額な定額使い放題料金として、払い過ぎの状態が続いていることを意味します。
85% of smartphone users use less than 1 GB per month. However, the remaining 15% of users, especially the upper 2%, collectively consume half of the total available network capacity. This means the overwhelming majority of users overpay for data every month because they are being charged for unlimited data they neither need nor use.
Or, to take it a step further, 85% of smartphone users are subsidizing the data costs of a few heavy users.

This is how JCI introduced their Bmobile Talking 1 GB Flat rate SIM, available from 9/22 [J press release]. Honestly, I really couldn't agree more, as a recurring theme on this blog is doing things cost effectively and efficiently.

If you have been following Bmobile products lately, you can likely guess the details. As always, voice SIMs in Japan are limited to residents and are not available to tourists. In total, to start service from scratch, the first month will cost ¥7,920 (activation charge and first data charge), with each additional month costing about ¥4,400 (including universal service charge, etc.)

  • Full size and micro SIM
  • ¥3,150 activation fee
  • ¥1,290 for 32.5 minutes
  • Additional airtime at ¥21/30 seconds
  • 1 GB/30 days at ¥3,100 (initial 1GB charge is ¥3,480)
  • MNP is possible
  • Any Talking SIM can be converted to a 1 GB flat rate plan (data-only SIMs are not compatible with Talking plans)
  • 1 year contract required with no automatic renewal (unlike everyone else)
  • 10,500 early termination fee

29 comments:

  1. How do you measure your data consumption rate, by the way? Do you have an app to recommend? I have no idea how much I actually use.

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  2. I rely mainly on what the bcharge app tells me. That is what the graphs in the sidebar are based on. I also tried just about every data meter on the market and found that on my nexus one, 3G watchdog and mobile counter give very accurate results. At some time I'll post a comparison of what they report versus what bmobile reports.

    I use both of those apps together because the free version of each has different pluses. The mobile counter widget is the only on I've seen that (for free) gives daily usage. The watchdog will export to csv. However I haven't found one that does everything I want. Also have network counter installed for a per app breakdown.

    2011年9月27日火曜日 Disqus :

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  3. I also noticed the operators have started to talk that 2% of the users use most of the bandwithd. Then they continued by saying that this is same abroad and there the operators have started to raise their prices for these heavy users. Implying of course that the normal way is to raise the prices also in Japan.

    What they did not say was that everyone here already pays like the heavy users in other countries...

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  4. Which is why I use bmobile.

    I am one of the people that don't need unlimited data. Before I rooted my Docomo-branded HTC Magic, I used about 250 MB per month, for which I paid the ridiculous sum of ¥6,000.

    Now I get that for ¥2,000.

    In December, when this charge is up, I am going to try the 1 GB flat rate for ¥3,000.

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  5. Wondering if anyone knows a place to purchase a talking fair sim in Kanagawa-ken.

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  6. I don't know if it was mentioned somewhere but it appears the talking sim cards are not available in retail stores. I checked both the Kawasaki Yodobashi and Yodobashi Akiba both said the talking sims are only available online.

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  7. The FAQ for the talking 1 GB point to this list of retailers.

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  8. I'll have to look into those but I can confirm that Yodobashi does not sell the talking sims. They were, however, very helpful I was able to test and buy a data only sim. Works in my international Galaxy S II although I do get the annoying "no network available" error.

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  9. Do you get excessive battery drain on the international S 2? If so, it would be interesting if Nicholas can pin point the difference in software that is causing it based on his Docomo S2...

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  10. I haven't noticed any but I've also been putting my phone into flight mode for most of the day.

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  11. I haven't had a chance to make to Akihabara again but doesn't the header for that page only list the talking sims? The talking fair sim is not mentioned.

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  12. Yes this is true about the header, but JCI sometimes forgets to update pages. They added so many new products in such a short time, I think it gets away from them. They used to indicate that none of the talking SIMs were available in stores, but that got fixed when I pointed it out.

    That page is linked from the FAQ for the talking 1 GB flat rate SIM, (click the otherlink - for the FAQ). If the FAQ for the 1GB says it can be bought in those stores, my guess is that the list of stores web page never got updated to reflect the recent addition of the the talking fair and flat rate.

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  13. Just tried the PCNet stores in Akihabara. They also said they the talking fair sins are only online. Do I need to but a the talking sim without data and add data online?

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  14. Hmmm... The FAQ does say that it might not be available at each and every store. Maybe you've been unlucky. I'll try and confirm which stores (if any) carry the Talking 1GB Flat...

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  15. I just checked into it, and this place has them for sure: Big West International in Ikebukuro.

    I know that last thing you want to do is go from Akihabara to the other side of Tokyo, but at least you don't have to change trains ;-)

    Hopefully it works out this time.

    ビッグウェストインターナショナル
    http://www.bwi.jp/bwi-about.html
    東京都豊島区池袋2-40-12
    西池袋第一生命ビルディング1F
    03-5960-4728

    (PS - I've asked questions about Docomo's LTE service called Xi at about 5 different Docomo shops and gotten a range of answers, none of which turned out to be correct.)

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  16. Thanks for looking. I didn't make it to Ikebukuro today. I'll let you know how it goes when I do.

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  17. BWI was great. Thank you for helping me find it. They helped me fill out the application and test the phone. Internet and telephone are working without the popup error. We'll see about the battery drain. Only problem so far is the bcharge app is telling that there is no bmobile sim in my phone. Maybe it just takes some time to activate?

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  18. Glad it worked out - too bad it was a bit complicated. You won't have a problem with battery drain on your phone because you are using a talking SIM. The data-only SIMs somehow leave the OS thinking there is no signal, so it boost the radio power way up to search for a signal. Talking SIMs from bmobile don't have this issue with Android.

    If you've ever had a cell phone in an area with poor reception - not necessarily a smartphone, but any phone, you'll probably notice that the battery drains really fast. This is for the same reason.

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  19. Bcharge was working fine with the data only sim (when not in flight mode of course) but isnt reconizing my talking sim. I even tried activating the card using their automated line. It said my card was already activated.

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  20. Something just occured to me. Perhaps the talking SIM is not compatible with bcharge. After all you are on contract and must refill each month.

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  21. Ok. Turns out when I signed up for the talking sim they registeted a new bmobile id for me. The bcharge app was logging in with the old id.

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  22. glad you figured it out.

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  23. Too bad I don't have a second android phone. If I did I could use that as a wireless router untill I decided between wimax and fiber.

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  24. Bertrand ZerpersandeJanuary 27, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Preamble...... Have had limited experience with keitai in Japan. Only time I ever had one was when the company I worked for provided one to me and I worried about squat. Have since got into GeoCaching and have a HTC Thunderbolt 4GLTE. Messed around with it like the idea of having mobile internet whether I use it a lot or not. Not sure that I need the phone that much, though it might prove useful on occasions. Of course Skype would be available for what, maybe 13 yen/minute in those rare occasions.

    Meat of the matter..... I guess what I want is a data Sim. Agree/disagree? Where can I get one and how much? The wife is saying Aeon had them for 980 yen/month recently, but I don't know if they would work with my phone. Any input appreciated.

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  25. Click the link in the upper part of the sidebar that says "all b-mobile SIMs" or something like that.

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  26. Ok, so I've been reading all the related blog posts and I'm not sure what I should do.
    Here's my situation:

    I currently am with Softbank. I have a super old phone (so it's completely paid).
    I've been with them for 4.5 years now which means I would have to pay around 10.000yen for cancelling.

    I just ordered an unlocked Docomo Galaxy S3.

    I probably won't stay in Japan that much longer, but there's not fixed date yet.
    We're talking about 6 months - 1 year.

    I'm trying to figure out the cheapest way out of this.

    I could try to cut my Softbank SIM to micro size and change my plans to unlimited data, but my SIM is old, has a super huge chip and I'm quite sure it won't work.
    At least I wouldn't have to pay the cancellation fee to Softbank for now (but as I don't plan to stay another 2 years, I will have to pay that fee eventually anyways).

    If I were to get a b-mobile SIM I'm most likely to either get the Talking Fair or the Talking 1GB Flat.
    Unfortunately the information given here is confusing.
    Here you say both of them have a 1 year contract period, but in the updated table of all SIMs, both SIMs seem to have a 3 months contract.
    For me who doesn't plan to stay that long anymore that makes a huge difference!

    If I were to get one of these SIMs and then leave, I would not only have to pay Softbank's cancellation fee of 10.000yen, but also the one to b-mobile!
    That sounds quite expensive to me.
    If we're just talking about 3 months, though, that's a different story.

    I guess I would go with the Talking Fair first to see how much data I use.
    I have absolutely no idea, because thus far I didn't have any data plan nor a smartphone to surf the internet.
    If I see that I need more data per month, I can easily change to the 1GB Talking flat rate, right?

    What would you suggest in my situation?

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  27. How many points do you have in SBM?

    It seems that you will anyway have to pay SBM, 10,000 yen cancellation fee. In that scenario if you shift, you will also need to pay 3,150 initial contract fee / SIM charges for other providers.

    For comparison, I am assuming that you would be shifting to b-mobile Talking 1GB Flat which would cost around minimum 4,400 yen per month.

    If you want to optimize costs (and are ok not adhering to SBM T&C) -->
    i) Upgrade to iPhone 4S (one time payment of around 35k)
    ii) Use your SBM points while making the payment (to realize all the points as cash) to reduce the one time payment to 35k - x where 'x' is the number of points
    iii) Sell the new iPhone 4S for 35 + y (Should be possible given the current market values and Apple mania)
    iv) Use the new micro SIM in your GS III
    v) Monthly outgo should be around minimum 4300 yen which would include free calls to SBM 0100 - 2100, free SMS to SBM, free SBM wi-fi

    The usage of points 'x' and any possible profit seeling the new iPhone 4S 'y' should reduce your upcoming 10,000 yen damage by 'x+y'


    If you want to optimize experience (i.e. FOMA usage) -->
    i) Switch to b-mobile Talking 1 GB flat

    Here, if you know for sure that you can do with a 1GB limit, and are OK with a one time initial charge of 3,150, it should give a better experience in terms of coverage and speeds.

    Assuming that SBM will not allow usage of your points for paying the 10,000 yen cancellation, the total monetary difference between the first and second option would be (x + y + 3150)

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  28. Thanks so much for your answer!
    I got my shiro-rom Docomo phone today, went to the Docomo shop and got it unlocked.
    After running around from A to B I decided to go with Docomo after all.

    I was able to leave Softbank via MNP without having to pay any cancellation fee.
    I'm now signed up to an expensive Docomo plan that doesn't come with any cancellation fee and is not a 2 year contract.
    I'll test this for a while and if I think it's not good or tooooo expensive, then I can cancel anytime :)

    Thanks for going through the trouble of giving the calculation.
    You know, I was just tired after doing so much research for weeks. It's ok the way it is.
    If I see that the 3GB cap is too much (which I have with my current plan) I might consider trying b-mobile.

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  29. I was totally psyched to see this sim card after combing through all the options until I visited the b mobile website and realised that this is no longer available... -_- are there any recommendations for a voice + data sim card for micro sim and allows streaming?

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