So far, I have not incurred any unexpected data fees. As of yesterday, my online statement indicates no irregularities in my bill, and the campaign rate of ¥4,200 for 7 GB of bandwidth is being properly applied. Nonetheless, I will wait until my December bill arrives before making a post on how to switch over to Xi. If all is OK (and it had better be or my wife is going to kill me and you'll never hear from me again), I'll post a detailed description of what I did to change my FOMA plan to Xi.
In the meantime, here is my reasoning for switching, followed by a list of points to consider.
Motivation for Switching to XiFor the past 8 months, I've been carrying around two phones, one with a NTT Docomo FOMA SIM for voice, and one with a bmobile FAIR SIM for data. The reason for doing this was the desire to use a better phone than my NTT Docomo ht-03a (HTC Magic). If you recall, I wasted several hours and ¥500 back in April trying to get my unlocked Nexus One working on Docomo's network, only to give up due to the exorbitant fees levied on non-Docomo-branded handsets (in excess of ¥10,000, now reduced to only about ¥8,000, not including basic voice fees, etc.).
The next best thing was using a bmobile FAIR data-only SIM with the N1 and shutting off data completely on the ht-03a. This gave me the best of both worlds, a Docomo family voice plan and a newer/faster/better handset for data with tethering, all at a reasonable price - my total mobile costs were about ¥4,000 each month. However, carrying two phones is less than ideal for a number of obvious reasons.
Now, I can use the N1 for voice, data, and tethering with an Xi contract for no additional costs. I am also not breaking the terms of the contract in any way. The N1 is even properly certified for use in Japan, including the (aftermarket) battery. As a final note, I was very satisfied with the bmobile SIM and would recommend JCI's talkingFAIR or talking 1 GB Flat Rate SIMs to anyone who is otherwise not eligible for a family calling plan.
Points to consider before switchingIf you have a relatively new Docomo handset, there is little reason to switch to Xi, and it could get expensive if the phone is subsidized.
This is the flyer I received from the staff at the Docomo shop where I changed my contract. An OCR'd PDF is here. Some of this is obvious, some of it not so, and some of it may be wrong, as I can confirm that the ht-03a does in fact work. *
- NTT Docomo will not guarantee that the flat rate will be applied, leaving open the possibility of per KB charges at ¥0.41/KB. (This information is not included on the flyer but comes via calls by the staff to the internal help desk.) **
- FOMA handsets will not support high-speed LTE data or contents exclusively for Xi handsets.
- Monthly handset subsidies will cease (i.e., 月々サポート), and if either "handset purchase support" (端末購入サポート) or "basic purchase support" (ベーシック購入サポート) is currently applied, a cancellation fee will be assessed.
- Xi Price plans and data flat rates will be applicable.
- The following FOMA handsets cannot be used with Xi*: HT-01A, HT-02A, HT-03A, HT1100, M702iS, M2501, M1000, M702iG, NM850iG, NM705i, NM706i, BlackBerry Bold, BlackBerry Bold 9700, BlackBerry Bold 9780, BlackBerry Curve 9300.
- Users of "Mopera U" and "Business Mopera Internet" should manually set the APN to mopera.net (consult the owner's manual for instructions).
- Users of third party ISPs may experience difficulty connecting to the internet or incur additional fees. Confirm if this is the case with your ISP before contracting Xi service.
- Users who switch back to FOMA from Xi will be ineligible for the "Value" voice plans unless purchasing a new FOMA handset (which will nearly double the price of the basic fee).
- A new Xi SIM costs ¥2,100,
though it seems I was only charged ¥2,000¥2,000 + 5% tax = ¥2,100. (This information is not included on the flyer.)
** Technically, I don't see how this could happen unless Docomo specifically makes it happen, or you set some funky APN.
Original Japanese from flyer follows:
くFOMAから契約変更する際、 FOMA契約において月々サポート等にご加入中の場合 について〉
くご利用いただけない FOMA端末について〉 以下の FOMA端末については、ご利用いただけません。
HT-01A、HT-02A、HT-03A、HT1100、M702iS、M2501、M1000、M702iG、M850iG、NM705i、NM706i、BlackBerry Bold、BlackBerry Bold 9700、BlackBerry Bold 9780、BlackBerry Curve 9300
く iモード・ sp モード以外のインターネット接続サービスの利用について〉
当祉の「moperaU」 又は「ビジネスmoperaインターネット」をご契約の方は、APNを「mopera.net」に手動で設定して下さい。設定方法は各機種の取扱説明書をご覧下さ い。
他社プロパイダをご契約の方は、FOMA 端末で Xiサービスを利用することで、接続できなくなる場合や、接続時聞に応じて別途のプロパイタ利用料が発生する場合がありますので、必ず事前にご契約プロパイダヘご確認下さい。
Xi 契約をされたのちに、FOMA端末の購入を伴わずFOMAサービスヘ契約変更する場合 は、バリュープランをご選択いただけません。
本書の内容は、2011年11 月24 日現在のものです