Sunday, September 18, 2011

Docomo USA data plan: 250 MB for $203.84!

NTT Docomo recently started an MVNO in the United States, Docomo USA, that is using T-Mobile's network. Docomo USA are targeting overseas Japanese who lack confidence in their English ability to start a contract and are too naive to know that they can get a prepaid plan without a SSN, credit card, and credit history.

There are five individual voice plans with standard Japanese-style naming. The terms aren't so bad. No contract required, roll over minutes, and free calling to Japanese landlines included in the anytime minutes. Extra lines can be added to the four larger plans for $15 per handset.

  • Talk SS ($15 for 100 minutes)
  • Talk S ($30 for 250 minutes)
  • Talk M ($50 for 500 minutes)
  • Talk L ($65 for 750 minutes)
  • Talk LL ($125 for 1500 minutes)
With the news that they plan to introduce the Nexus S, I thought I'd look at their current data prices. It is such a ripoff it should be criminal. First they charge a $15/month "ISP" fee, which is completely unnecessary and blatantly taking advantage of naive customers that are accustomed to paying meaningless charges.

There are currently three data plans:
  • 15 MB for $10
  • 25 MB for $15
  • 50 MB for $25

Overages are charged at $0.0008 per kilobyte, which works out 82 cents per Megabyte, and woud cost $203.84 for 250 MB. A new plan is coming with the Nexus S that will have 500 MB for $20/month ($0.12/MB). This would only cost $95 for 1 GB of data, which is still ludicrous ($15 ISP fee, $20 for 500 MB, $60 for additional 500 MB). 

Finally, if you've got nothing better to do, browse the site in English. It's horrible. Expanding the FAQs overruns the content into the footer. I challenge you to find the data plan pricing in less than 5 clicks. I think the translation was done by a high school dropout: "Have other Carrier?" "Reason to choose" "Is phone lost or stolen?" "Needless to say it’s convenient when you are on the business trip", though it is better than the English wikipedia article, which is gibberish.
It goes in the United States around sales of service "Nami mail" that centers on the Japanese localization mailer for BlackBerry for the overseas representative including the marketing research business of the cellular phone commission sales service for the Japanese in the U.S. and MVNO service "Docomo USA Wireless" and the Japanese in the U.S. for a long-term business traveler to the United States and NTT Docomo and the United States and Wi-Fi connection service "Namikiteru".
Um, can you say that again? (Yes, that was one single sentence.)


  1. nice post! It’s something I have never thought about, really, but it makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks for sharing

  2. Base price of non-BlackBerry data plan (i.e. Android, Nokia) is $5.00, not $15.00.