Friday, March 30, 2012

Apple offers refunds to Australians misled by "4G" iPad

This is good news. I've always been critical of using the term "4G" to describe tech that is certainly not 4G, even when it's done by carriers that I otherwise like. In this case, I have no issues with an LTE device being called 4G, even though it should technically be "3.9G", but since LTE bands are scattered all over the place, it is indeed misleading to call it 4G outside of the US.

However, I'd like to see Apple go a step further and clarify what frequencies it supports. As is, this will cause confusion in Japan because the term "LTE 2100 MHz" could result in people thinking the international unlocked version would be compatible with Docomo Xi LTE 2100 MHz (Band I) network.

It would appear that Apple is using "2100" to refer to LTE Band IV. The more correct term would be AWS (though Apple certainly isn't the only entity to call AWS "2100"). The below image is referring to 3G, but the bands are the same. For LTE, replace T-Mobile with AT&T. There is overlap on the downlink only.

Here is what the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is reporting is going to happen by April 5th (!)

Apple Pty Ltd provides undertaking in response to ACCC “iPad with WiFi + 4G” urgent application

The Federal Court has accepted an undertaking from Apple Pty Limited in response to an urgent application filed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) earlier today.

The ACCC has alleged that the promotion of the "iPad with WiFi + 4G" by Apple Pty Limited and Apple Inc is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product "iPad with WiFi + 4G" can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case.

Today Apple Pty Ltd provided an undertaking to the Federal Court that until further order or hearing, Apple Pty Limited would as soon as is reasonably practicable and by no later than 5 April 2012:
  • display a statement that the “This product supports very fast cellular networks. It is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX Networks” in its promotional materials, on its website and online store
  • distribute signage with the same wording to resellers to be displayed at points of sale
  • contact by email any persons for whom Apple Pty Limited has an email address and who have purchased the “iPad with WiFI + 4G” between 16 March and 28 March 2012 (including pre-orders prior to 16 March 2012) including statements to the effect that “This product supports very fast cellular networks. It is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX Networks” and that such persons are entitled to return the product and request a refund within a timeframe specified in the email.
A directions hearing has been scheduled for 16 April 2012 at 9:30am. A mediation has been ordered for 18 April 2012. A hearing on liability has been set down commencing 2 May 2012.

Release # NR 059/12
Issued: 28th March 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Importing a Wordpress database to Blogger

This will be the first post in a multipart series. First, I'll describe moving the database. Next, I'll cover the images, which is significantly more complicated.

We recently helped move a very large blog from Wordpress to Blogger. The primary conversion was done with this python utility. There is also an online converter, but it only accepts files up to 1 MB. This database was over 300 MB.

Why move to blogger

Wordpress powers many of the flashy sites out there, and it is very powerful. Unlike blogger it can be installed on your own server, so you have total control. With blogger, even if you have a custom domain, the entire blog is hosted on google's servers. Of course I understand that many of you won't feel comfortable handing over all this information and power to Google, but in doing so, there are some significant advantages. Aside from never needing to maintain a server, the following three things immediately jump to mind.
  1. Security. Blogger has a much better security record than Wordpress. Period. Add to this 2-step verification, and the chances of your account getting hacked are extremely low.
  2. Greatly reduced bandwidth bill. Blogger images are hosted on Picasa, and signing up for google+ increases your free quota such that "photos up to 2048 x 2048 pixels and videos up to 15 minutes won't count towards your free storage."
  3. Better protection against DMCA abuse. Blogger moving to country code top level domains is huge. If your blog gets a takedown request, it is brought down only for the country in which the request originated. Completely erasing content from the internet now requires filing takedowns for each blogger ccTLD.
Of course similar benefits regarding server maintenance and bandwidth usage can come from hosting on as well.

Convert the database

Step 1. Export the database from the wordpress dashboard. If you have a large database, do it in chunks. Use a systematic file naming convention with no spaces. The online converter can be used on XML files under 1 MB. Smaller files will also make it easier to narrow down the location of any issues and be easier to upload to Google. One massive 300 MB XML file will be more likely to fail to import due to any number of possible things that could happen than ten 30 MB files.

Step 2. Convert with the online converter if your files are under 1 MB. If not, you'll need to download the scripts and run them in a terminal window. This requires python to be installed, which comes standard in most linux distros and Mac OS X. To execute the script, do this, changing the names of the files accordingly: input.xml > output.xml

Step 3. Fix any errors. A common error we ran into was Input WordPress document is not valid XML!!. Fortunately, there'd be an indication of the general location of the error. For example, Error appears around line 652861, column 33. We found the cause to often be incorrectly formed unicode, generally in the comments. We had some success with reconverting to utf-8, and then opening the XML file with a standard text editor. After doing that we'd often find a mangled character that could then be deleted. If that doesn't work, it might be best to strip out the entire offending comment.

To do so remove everything wrapped in (and including) the <wp:comment></wp:comment> tags.

Clean up the converted database

Unfortunately, the converted database needs to be modified to make it look good. Below is the list of search and replace terms I did to get the content to render exactly the same in blogger as it did in wordpress.

The problem is with the addition on extra line breaks. Part of this comes from the default CSS in the common blogger templates like "simple" and "awesome inc" that includes margins after blockquote and list elements. Part of it comes from blogger's lack of love for the the paragraph tag (<p>). But by far, most the extra space is because the version of the wordpress2blogger scripts we used likes the break tag (<br />). A lot.

Consider the following quote.
I like cats.
The html to render this quote looked like this in the XML file exported from wordpress:
<blockquote><I like cats./blockquote>

After conversion to blogger, It had two extra breaks appended:
<blockquote><I like cats./blockquote>&lt<br /><br />

This will result in an unsightly amount of blank space after any quote. I identified certain HTML tags that would be trigger the addition of extra breaks but found it faster to just let the conversion run and the do a multifile search and replace on the converted database.

Here's the list of all the search and replace terms I used. I'm sure someone could come up with a grep string to get all the multiple breaks with one command, but I didn't really think about it. NOTE: the converted data base used html entities, so instead of break tag looking like <br />, it will look like this &lt;br /&gt;

1. Multiple line breaks
Find: <br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>
Replace: <br/><br/>

Find: <br/><br/><br/><br/>
Replace: <br/><br/>

Find: <br/><br/><br/>
Replace: <br/><br/>

2. Breaks starting lists
Find: <ul><br/>
Replace: <ul>

3. Breaks before end of lists
Find: <br/><ul>
Replace: <ul>

4. Breaks after lists.
Find: </ul><br/>
Replace: </ul>

5. Paragraph tags (blogger doesn't need them in the html)
Remove: <p>

6. Ending paragraph tag
Remove: </p>

8. Breaks after list elements
Find: </li><br/>
Replace: </li>

9. Breaks after blockquotes
Find: </blockquote><br/><br/>
Replace: </blockquote><br/>

Import the database

Now, you're ready to import the database to blogger. From Settings > Other, click import blog.

Select the file you want to upload, pass through the recaptcha (only need to get one of the words correct), and click import. When we did this, there was a bug that prevented automatic publication of posts. Fortunately for us, there is a select all button on the blogger dashboard so you can select all the posts displayed on a page and publish them at once. Unfortunately for us, we could only display 100 posts at a time and there were over 6000 to publish.

If any files fail to upload due to random errors, try uploading again. You can also try reexporting and reconverting. For us, there were several entries, again in the comments, that caused problems. All we could do is split up the databases into smaller and smaller chunks and attempt to reupload, eventually narrowing it down a particular month that had a database issue. Then to a particular week. Next to an actual post. And finally to a malformed character in a single comment that didn't cause the conversion to blogger format to fail but did cause the import to blogger to fail. (This is why you want to use a systematic naming convention for the XML files, since you can easily end up with duplicate posts if you don't keep track.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

B-mobile4G LTE "chameleon" SIM

JCI is moving towards "build to order" services with the release of their first LTE SIM card. The B-Mobile4G Chameleon SIM card uses Docomo's Xi network. It initially costs ¥5,800 for 21 days or 3000 MB, and micro and regular sizes are available. Along with an LTE mobile router, this will be available from 3/31.

Chameleon indicates that the SIM can be recharged as one of three different products each month - the build to order aspect. Depending on your needs, each subsequent charge can be for a different product. If you move outside of the still relatively limited LTE area, simply chose a different recharge option.
  • 30-day U300 data-only SIM: ¥2480 (300 kbps; unlimited)
  • 30-day high speed LTE: ¥5,400 (best effort 75 Mbps*; 5000 MB)
  • 120-day Fair: ¥8,800 (best effort 75 Mbps*; 1000 MB)
*These are theoretical speeds. Outside of specific indoor locations, the maximum Xi LTE downlink is 37.5 Mbps. This is the LTE version of the Fair SIM.

B-mobile4G wifi2 LTE mobile router

To go with their 4G LTE "chameleon" SIM is an LTE mobile router. The B-mobile4G wifi2 weighs in at less than 100 grams and will be available from 3/31. The cost is ¥32,800. It will have a standby time of about 150 hours and usage of 6.5/5 hours with 3G/LTE, which is obtained with a hefty 2100 mAh battery.

It supports LTE/HSDPA/HSUPA/WCDMA 800/2100MHz (bands I and VI). It can handle up to 10 connected clients.

Unreasonable carrier MNP incentives compel JCI to add 1-year contracts to TalkingSIMs

Sometimes I wonder what color the sky is in the J carrier exec's world. It sure doesn't seem to be blue. Carries are giving large cash incentives to induce customers to port their numbers from rival carriers, as much as ¥70,000 per line paid out immediately in cash. Even on the low end of ¥30,000 cash back, that is enough to pay contract and cancellation fees with money left over.

Like people aren't going to take advantage of that. And why should they not? If J carriers are stupid enough to do it. There have been cases of people contracting repeatedly 5 TalkingSIMs and then canceling within days. While JCI claims that they are not in financial danger from this, they believe it is an unsound business practice and are in official opposition. The MIC has said that there is nothing to be done but wait for the J carriers to pull their heads out of their collectives α$$ε$.
Now, JCI has added a ¥10,500 cancellation fee to TalkingSIMs that are used for less than 1 year. Softbank has also added a cancellation fee to their prepaid SIMs (¥9,975).

And it isn't just customers that make out well:
Actually JCI makes a big profit because they pay and don't use our network. We object because it is not right.
It may be getting more difficult to sell off the phones to second hand stores, as I imagine supply/demand pendulum has swung over to glut.

Monday, March 26, 2012

NTT Docomo to update 18 handsets to ICS

Docomo announced today that it is updating 14 phones and 4 tablets to ICS. The Sony tablets are also being upgraded. Of Docomo tablets, only the LG Optimus Pad is currently slated to stay on Honeycomb. Another 7 handsets are currently under consideration for upgrade (see bottom of quoted text below). Updates are currently scheduled to start from July.

So at least 18, as many as 25 devices getting upgraded from Gingerbread to ICS. Not too bad. Better than Docomo had done in the beginning.
2012年3月26日(月曜)現在発売中の製品(発売予定の製品含む)における、Android4.0 へのバージョンアップ予定の製品とバージョンアップ開始時期をお知らせします。


【docomo with series】
  • REGZA Phone T-01D
  • LUMIX Phone P-02D
  • PRADA phone by LG L-02D
  • Xperia acro HD SO-03D
【docomo NEXT series】
  • Optimus LTE L-01D
  • Xperia NX SO-02D
  • P-04D
【ドコモ タブレット】
  • GALAXY Tab 10.1 LTE SC-01D
  • ARROWS Tab LTE F-01D
  • GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus SC-02D
上記以外の製品「Disney Mobile on docomo F-08D」、「Disney Mobile on docomo P-05D」「F-12C」、「Xperia PLAY SO-01D」、「Xperia ray SO-03C」、「Xperia acro SO-02C」、「Xperia arc SO-01C」の7機種はAndroid4.0へのバージョンアップを検討中のため、Android4.0へのバージョンアップを実施する場合は当社ホームページにて、別途お知らせします。

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Japanese LTE prices are a good value relative to the US

Of course, it would take Apple releasing an LTE product for the masses to actually understand what LTE is. And it didn't take them long to figure out what we already know - that you can burn though a data allotment in a very short amount of time, especially when video is concerned.

When US subscribers enjoyed unlimited plans, Japanese prices for data were very uncompetitive, and they still are relative to costs in Europe. However, take a look at this comparison for current LTE prices. Emobile offers clearly the best value, though from 5/2014, a monthly 10 GB quota will be applied.

Cost per 7 GB
NTT Docomo
7 GB
¥2,625/2 GB
5 GB
¥5,985 (¥4,985**)
¥2,625/2 GB
¥8,610 (¥ 7,610)
5 GB
$10/1 GB
5 GB
$10/1 GB

* See here for limitations. Usage of over 366 MB/24 hour period will result in throttling between 9 pm and 2 am the next day.
** Also included is the campaign price for those who subscribe by 4/30/2012. This is not included for Docomo because current plans are such that prices will increase from May 2012, and then again from September 2012 to the full price listed above.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Japanese mobile frequency bands


This is "3G," though most carriers are employing enhanced protocols such as dual-channels, and/or high-speed packet access. While DCM does operate in Band 9, don't expect interoperability with Emobile. SBM is using Band 11 for it's "ultraspeed" DC-HSDPA mobile routers. Via wikipedia, and yeah, I know there is more to North America than the US.

Carrier W-CDMA UMTS Bands
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 17 18 19 20 21
NTT Docomo
Softbank Mobile P
Eaccess (emobile)
US T-Mobile
EU/AU/NZ etc


This is currently 3.9G but is often referred to simply as "4G." From what I understand about future LTE plans, SBM is likely to use it's new 900 MHz allocation for FDD-LTE. Didn't happen, 900 MHz is being used for regular 3G.

Carrier FDD-LTE Band
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 17 18 19 20 21
NTT Docomo P

Softbank Mobile P
Eaccess (emobile)


This is currently 3.9G, but is often referred to simply as "4G."

Carrier TD-LTE Band
33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43
NTT Docomo


Softbank Mobile

Eaccess (emobile)


Here are the frequencies that correspond to each band. Unfortunately, many makers don't specifically list which bands are supported, leading to ambiguity.

Band Uplink
1 2100 1920-1980 2110-2170 FDD
2 1900 1850-1910 1930-1990 FDD
3 1800 1710-1785 1805-1880 FDD
4 1700/2100
1710-1755 2110-2155 FDD
5 850 824-849 869-894 FDD
6 800 830-840 875-885 FDD
7 2600 2500-2570 2620-2690 FDD
8 900 880-915 925-960 FDD
9 1700 1749.9-1784.9 1844.9-1879.9 FDD
10 1700/2100
1710-1770 2110-2170 FDD
11 1500 1427.9-1447.9 1475.9-1495.9 FDD
12 700 699-716 729-746 FDD
13 700 777-787 746-756 FDD
14 700 788-798 758-768 FDD
15 Reserved
16 Reserved
17 700 704-716 734-746 FDD
18 800 815-830 860-875 FDD
19 800 830-845 875-890 FDD
20 800 832-862 791-821 FDD
21 1500 1447.9-1462.9 1495.9-1510.9 FDD
22 3410-3490 3510-3590 FDD
23 2000-2020 2180-2200 FDD
24 1626.5-1660.5 1525-1559 FDD
25 1900 1850-1915 1930-1995 FDD
33 1900-1920 1900-1920 TDD
34 2010-2025 2010-2025 TDD
35 1850-1910 1850-1910 TDD
36 1930-1990 1930-1990 TDD
37 1910-1930 1910-1930 TDD
38 2570-2620 2570-2620 TDD
39 1880-1920 1880-1920 TDD
40 2300-2400 2300-2400 TDD
41 2496-2690 2496-2690 TDD
42 3400-3600 3400-3600 TDD
43 3600-3800 3600-3800 TDD

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fix for excessive "Cell standby" battery drain on Android with b-mobile data-only SIMs


Can you tell which of these phones has a data-only SIM?
We figured that the fix for the infamous signal bars/battery drain issue was probably trivial, once someone figured out exactly what needed to be fixed. That someone is best known simply as "oov" and prefers not be called a developer because he only started tinkering with Android a few months ago. If you read Japanese, hop over to his site for a description of the patch, a windows batch file to execute, and a list of handsets confirmed compatible. Even if you don't read Japanese, I provided an English localization of the patch - select English when running.

For those unfamiliar with the problem, JCI was instrumental in the opening (though government arbitration) of NTT Docomo's FOMA network to MVNOs. The results are readily seen as an explosion of innovative cellular data products that even Docomo has began copying. However, while the SIMs that are distributed by DCM to MVNOs appear identical to a standard FOMA SIM card, they lack certain components that Android expects. This makes it appear to the OS in some (but not all) handsets that there is no cell signal when there actually is. As a result, power is boosted to radio, and "Cell standby" quickly drains the battery.

Give up? the data-only SIM is in the left screenshot (note the erroneous "G" - HTC Desire)
I've personally confirmed that the patch works on an unlocked Softbank HTC Desire (X06HT II) running both CyanogenMod 7.1 Stable and a beta version of ICS. The fix has also been reported to work on a number of other HTC phones including the Nexus One. It also seems to work for Samsung Galaxy series phones, such as the Galaxy S and S2, the Nexus S, and the Galaxy Nexus. Motorola Droid and Atrix phones are also reported fixed, as are various Xperia handsets. Patched files are hardware/software specific. You cannot use a patch for one model phone on a different model or OS version.


The perquisites to doing this will void your warranty. Do this at your own risk. Do not do this to a phone that uses voice+data SIMs. If you change to a voice+data SIM, push back the original framework.jar file that is made in the patching process using the "recovery.bat" file.
  • A data-only SIM from an MVNO using NTT Docomo's FOMA network
  • Root
  • S-Off (Nand security off)
  • Custom Recovery (such as ClockworkMod)
  • A nandroid backup of your current ROM (in case it doesn't work).
  • Windows with a Java Developer Kit if you can't compile and decompile the necessary files.


To do this manually, see the description below. Before pushing the patched file back to the phone, you'll need to mount the system partition as writable. If you can't get the batch file to push the patched file, you can find it in the same directory and push it yourself.

Step 0. Download the zip with batch files to patch and backup your system.

Step 1. open a command line and mount your system partition as readable. With an S-OFF bootloader this should be done as adb remount with the phone booted normally. If you get a permission denied error, try doing it while booted into recovery. If you still can't do it, you're going to have to look into how to mount the system partition for your particular phone and bootloader.

Step 2. Run the batch file. Select English.

Step 3. Choose your Android version (or in the case of gingerbread, the closest version)

Step 4. Choose the mode for the patch. See the table below for suggestions. Only use 99 if the other options didn't work.

I'm aware of the typo. I blame Nicholas for not catching it.
Step 5. Choose whether you want the "emergency calls only" dialog to go away.

Step 6. Create a patched framework.jar file based on the above conditions. The compiling and decompiling will take some time. Just let it sit. It isn't doing anything to your phone at this time.

Step 7. Push the patched file to your phone. (This can be done manually if it should fail for whatever reason.)

Step 8. Boot into recovery and wipe Dalvik cache and the cache partition.

Patch Modes

I've copied the list here, but it is better to check the original site. These settings are primarily sourced from comments of people who have successfully patched their phones.

Handsets confirmed working with Mode: 0
  • Samsung Galaxy S2 (SC-02C, HyperDroid)
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus (GT-i9250)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab (probably GT-P1000)
  • Samsung Galaxy S (GT-i9000, Onecosmic's ICS Port Android 4.0.3 RC3.1)
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus S (GT-i9020T, aokp 4.0.3)
  • Samsung Captivate Glide (SGH-I927, I927UCKI3)
  • HTC Desire HD (001HT SIMUnlocked)
  • HTC Desire HD (UK版 SIMFree, CyanogenMod7)
  • HTC Desire Z (CyanogenMod7.1, some reports of failure as well)
  • HTC Desire (X06HT, X06HTII, CyanogenMod 7.1), (X06HTII, Sandvold's ICS BETA 0.3.9 and 0.4.3 may show "G" for GPRS, even though it has 3G/H connectioin)
  • HTC myTouch 4G slide (1.28.531.10)
  • HTC HT-03A (CyanogenMod 6)
  • ZTE Blade (003Z, CyanogenMod 7.1)
  • Nexus One (2.3.3)
  • LG Optimus 2X (LG-P990, CyanogenMod 7)
Handsets confirmed working with Mode: 1
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia mini pro (SK17a)
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia pro (MK16a 4.0.2)
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia neo (MT15i, 2.3.4)
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia mini (ST15a), (ST15i)
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Active (ST17i)
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia arc (SO-01C)
  • Sony Ericsson mini (S51SE)
Handsets confirmed working with Mode: 2
  • Motorola DROID Pro (XT610 3.8.7 / 4.6.4), (CyanogenMod7 )
  • Motorola DROID 3 (XT862 5.6.890)
  • Motorola Atrix
  • Motorola Photon (ISW11M, CyanogenMod 7)
Handsets confirmed working with Mode: 99
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia acro (SO-02C, 2.3.4)
  • HTC Sensation (Android Revolution HD, not confirmed with mode 0, XE?)
Some Xperia handsets fail with changing to not display "emergency calls only" If so, change to 0 - "don't change"

Confirmed working data-only SIMs:

Behind the Scenes

This is the general procedure (J) done by the batch file. adb is used to pull /system/framework/framework.jar to your local computer. From there, classes.dex is extracted and then decompiled with baksmali. In the output directory, the text file out/com/android/internal/telephony/gsm/GsmServiceStateTracker.smali is edited, classes.dex is recompiled and reinserted into framework.jar, which is pushed back to the phone.

The portion that is edited is just slightly below this entry: .method private regCodeToServiceState(I)I.

    .packed-switch 0x0
← Edit point for Motorola DROID Prom, DROID 3, Atrix, etc.
        :pswitch_1d ← See here.
        :pswitch_1c ← Xperia also needs to be edited here
        :pswitch_1d ← Here :pswitch_1c is changed to :pswitch_1d
← Xperia also needs to be edited here
        :pswitch_1d ← Here :pswitch_1c is changed to :pswitch_1d
    .end packed-switch

The description in the batch file is counting lines starting at 0 from the first occurrence of :pswitch. For example, Xperia edits are at 2 and 12.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Apple updates new iPad LTE frequencies to Docomo's Xi band

UPDATE: It appears that AT&T is using AWS for LTE, which is Band 4. Docomo Xi is using Band 1. If Apple is referring to Band 4 when it says "2100", then this likely won't work. If it is referring to Band 1 and Band 4, then it should.

As far as I know, NTT Docomo operates the only LTE network in the world at 2100 MHz. However, this doesn't mean that a Docomo iPad is coming. Docomo's and Apple's ideas for branding and marketing appear mutually exclusive. There's no way that Apple is going to allow Docomo defile their product with labeling and preinstalled junk, just like Docomo isn't going to agree to the terms regarding retail display, licensing, etc. that would be likely forced on them by Apple.

However, an unlocked version of this next iPad would likely be compatible with an Xi microSIM, but don't run out with that in mind and buy one just yet. Let's see how this shakes out. The SBM version will likely be SIM-locked in Japan.

If Softbank Mobile didn't win the 900 MHz allocation, it would have greatly hindered their plans for roll out of an FDD-LTE network, presumably at 2100 MHz. At some point this next iPad will probably be compatible with Softbank LTE, but by the time that happens, we'll be looking back at the release of the next iPad after next, or whatever they call it.

Regarding AU, their plans also include 2100 MHz, but like US Verizon, they are a CDMA-2000 carrier. Note that the "Verizon Model" has no indication of 2100 MHz.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Japanese LTE bands

There is always a lot of confusion surrounding LTE. Here are the bands used by the Japanese carriers. △ refers to bands that are in testing and P for bands that are planned to be used. These tables are from the Japanese LTE wikipedia page.

Carrier Band
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 17 18 19 20 21
NTT Docomo P
Softbank Mobile P
Eaccess (emobile) P

Here are the corresponding frequencies. Notice that information regarding which carriers are using which bands in inconsistent between the two tables. Such is wikipedia in Japanese.

Band Uplink
FDD/TDD Area/Operator
1 2100 1920-1980 2110-2170 60×2 FDD NTT Docomo / Softbank Mobile (Planned)
2 1900 1850-1910 1930-1990 60×2 FDD
3 1800 1710-1785 1805-1880 75×2 FDD CSL (Hong Kong)
4 1700/2100
1710-1755 2110-2155 45×2 FDD AT&T
MetroPCS (USA)
5 850 824-849 869-894 25×2 FDD
6 800 830-840 875-885 10×2 FDD
7 2600 2500-2570 2620-2690 70×2 FDD TeliaSonera (Europe) / CSL (Hong Kong)
8 900 880-915 925-960 35×2 FDD
9 1700 1749.9-1784.9 1844.9-1879.9 35×2 FDD Eaccess
10 1700/2100
1710-1770 2110-2170 60×2 FDD
11 1500 1427.9-1447.9 1475.9-1495.9 20×2 FDD KDDI (Planned)
12 700 699-716 729-746 17×2 FDD Verizon Wireless (USA)
13 700 777-787 746-756 10×2 FDD AT&T (Planned)
14 700 788-798 758-768 10×2 FDD AT&T (Planned)
15 Reserved
16 Reserved
17 700 704-716 734-746 12×2 FDD AT&T
18 800 815-830 860-875 15×2 FDD KDDI (Planned)
19 800 830-845 875-890 15×2 FDD
20 800 832-862 791-821 30×2 FDD Northern Europe
21 1500 1447.9-1462.9 1495.9-1510.9 15×2 FDD NTT Docomo (Planned)
22 3410-3490 3510-3590 80×2 FDD
23 2000-2020 2180-2200 20×2 FDD
24 1626.5-1660.5 1525-1559 34×2 FDD
25 1900 1850-1915 1930-1995 65×2 FDD
33 1900-1920 1900-1920 20 TDD
34 2010-2025 2010-2025 15 TDD
35 1850-1910 1850-1910 60 TDD
36 1930-1990 1930-1990 60 TDD
37 1910-1930 1910-1930 20 TDD
38 2570-2620 2570-2620 50 TDD
39 1880-1920 1880-1920 40 TDD
40 2300-2400 2300-2400 100 TDD
41 2496-2690 2496-2690 194 TDD Willcom XGP / Softbank 4G
42 3400-3600 3400-3600 200 TDD
43 3600-3800 3600-3800 200 TDD

KDDI iPad reportedly to go on sale from April

Following Ishikawa Tsutsumu's confirmation of my original impression that the SBM version of the iPad would lack LTE, the latest news/rumor surrounding the iPad is that there will be an AU version from April.
In addition to being available from Apple and Softbank Mobile, A KDDI (AU) version of the newly announced iPad is also planned for release from April. KDDI was unable to comment.
Regarding LTE, according to wikipedia, which is often more wrong in Japanese than it is in English, AU LTE service is slated to be available from 12/2012, which is consistent with what I've heard.

Via the Asahi Shimbun.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

New iPad supports LTE, but not in Japan

UPDATE 4: Both the descriptions on the US and The description on the JP site has been updated to include a 2100 MHz LTE band, which is what Docomo uses and what AU will introduce by the end of the year.

UPDATE 3: Looks like I was indeed correct. Ishiwaka Tsutsumu has an article up on the Nikkei. Skip to page 2 for the important part.
Because the only carrier will by SBM, the version on sale in Japan with be non-LTE.
A paragraph later, this comes in. It's my understanding that "Softbank 4G" is using Willcom's XGP, which can be relatively easily converted to TD-LTE.
Based on the current situation, I don't think SBM can start LTE service anytime soon. So, it seems that LTE can't be used on the new iPad [in Japan]. So, if the iPad here will not be 4G, why call it 4G? I really wish people would stopped doing that. Call it what it is, please.
It's unclear to me what the progress is on this, though. (Docomo, AU, AT&T, and Verizon are using FDD LTE. The same chipset can (apparently) support both.

UPDATE 2: Perhaps in the case of Japan, "4G" is referring to Willcom's XGP that is being converted over to TD-LTE?

This post has been updated. When the iPad was first released in Japan, Apple did a poor cut and paste job into the Japanese site that resulted in ambiguities regarding whether or not it was SIM locked to SBM's network. Without seeing specs that specifically say LTE, I would be personally leery of buying it. Remember, there were people who preordered Japanese iPads thinking they were totally "SIM Free" when they weren't.

Currently the Japanese JP apple site contains conflicting information. On the one hand, it uses term "4G". On the other, it lists specific protocols and frequencies, none of which are 4G. UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA are all 3G (or perhaps 3.5G). They certainly are not LTE. (See here for J carrier plans for LTE). Let's also not forget how marketing wonks like to abuse the term 4G.

Wi-Fi + 4Gモデル:UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA(850、900、1,900、2,100 MHz)、GSM/EDGE(850、900、1,800、1,900 MHz
Now, let's contrast this with the US page.

AT&T Model: LTE (700, 2100 MHz)
Verizon Model: LTE (700 MHz)

The US page also has an expanded description of 4G that specifically mentions LTE.

The Japanese site also has an expanded description of "4G" that doesn't specifically mention LTE. It mentions being able to use 3G protocols when 4G isn't available. Now, this would seem to indicate that there is LTE. Without clarification, I'd be hesitant to buy.

Original post below:

We have several LTE carriers here, but LTE is not listed in the specs on the JP apple site. The only carrier is Softbank.
Wi-Fi + 4Gモデル:UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA(850、900、1,900、2,100 MHz)、GSM/EDGE(850、900、1,800、1,900 MHz
This will work with AT&T 3G network in the US.

I like the Fujitsu Arrows Tab

When I decided on this tablet, I was apprehensive whether I was making the correct decision. There was nothing particularly deal-sealing about it, and I'm leery of domestic makers. While I want to support them, since I live in Japan, all of the galapagos Android phones that I've used have been hindered by custom UIs and weighed down by unwanted bloat. More importantly, the domestic makers have not reliably provided Android version updates and have never provided unlocked bootloaders. Most importantly, Fujitsu has yet to announce whether this tablet is getting an update.

While an update to ICS would be nice, the differences between Honeycomb (3.2) and ICS (4.x) are relatively minor compared to the jump from Donut (1.6) to Eclair (2.1). Even if the Arrows Tab never gets updated, a year after purchase this tablet will undoubtably be more usable than, for example, the Sharp IS01/Lynx, which had its plug officially pulled after only six months, and was left to rot with a locked bootloader on 1.6 (even though it had a more-than-capable 1 GHz Snapdragon processor).

Now that that's out of the way, I'm happy to report that I'm pleasantly surprised with my experience so far. Keeping in mind that this is my first extended experience with a tablet, I'm going to provide less of a review and more of an overview of the Fujistu Arrows Tab Wifi version.


The Arrows Tab Wi-Fi is essentially the wifi-only version of the NTT Docomo F-01D. The main difference is that it lacks an LTE cellular radio but gains a biometric fingerprint reader. Note that the cases for the F-01D do not have an opening for the biometric sensor. Cases specifically designed for the wifi version are not yet available.

Arrows Tab Wi-Fi
32/16 GB
Best Price*
1 GB
TI OMAP 4430 1 GHz dual core
5.1 MP rear, 1.3 MP forward
Japanese IME
GPS, accelerometer, magnetometer, light sensor, biometrics.
micro USB, 3.5 mm audio, dock, Micro SDHC
10.1" capacitive WXGA 10-finger multitouch
Android 3.2 Honeycomb
Battery life
10/83/2,900 hours (video/muisc/standby)
Dimensions (mm)
262 x 181 x 11.3 (599 g)
Water Resistance
biometics, one seg (recorder), water resistance, gesture input
* This was the best online price at the time of purchase.


There are two potential wifi radios, each of are supposed to support 2400 to 2483.5 MHz, which should include up to 802.11n channel 14. (14 is limited to Japan and usable on Japanese-only devices or Android devices with a 440 MCC SIM - any other SIM will deactivate ch. 14.) However, even if I set my channels to 20 MHz bandwidths, the Arrows tab can't see channels 12, 13, and 14, which is a bit of a shame because these bands were the least crowded in my wifi environment. The Nexus One can connect on ch. 12 and 13.

Speaking of the Nexus One, it provides mobile connectivity through wifi hotspot tethering (infrastructure mode). With a phone that can tether, the need for a cellular radio on a 3G tablet is greatly diminished.

Galapagos Features

For better or for worse, this is what sets this tablet apart. Of course these features are nice to have, but the more a device diverges from pure AOSP, the less likely timely updates become. The galapagos features are listed in order of how useful they are to me.
Biometric unlock
This is really cool. I exclusively unlock the screen using the biometric fingerprint reader on the back left of the tablet. To use it requires registering a backup unlock method (PIN or screen pattern), and at least two fingers. A total of ten can be registered. We figure the requirement for at least two fingers has less to do with the possibility of losing one and more to do with the possibility that the biometric data could get corrupted.

biometric unlock
When registering a finger, you first select which finger you intend to register, as in the image below, then swipe that finger at least three times. It doesn't appear that you have to swipe the corresponding finger, and all registered fingers don't need to be fore the same person. The two fingers on the "left hand" are from my left hand. The two fingers on the "right hand" are from my wife's left hand.

Register fingerprints
One Seg
One Seg in Japan is a 15 fps, 320x240, h.264 broadcast. Do don't expect it to look crystal clear in full screen on the Arrow's 1280x800 screen. Also, it's worth pointing out that owning a device equipped with a tuner obliges you to pay NHK fees. I never had trouble with indoor reception with my old AU phone (while it had an active SIM, that is). However, the lack of an external antenna appears to adversely affect reception on the Arrows tablet, which is fine by me because an external antenna would be ugly and compromise the water resistance. As with built-in FM radio, plugging in headphones may help.

The image is currently displayed at about 780x450 pixels

Unfortunately, the only place I don't get one seg reception is in my bathroom. Holding the tablet slightly improves reception from nothing to something-every-few-seconds. I'm currently considering if there is a way to rig up an external antenna that feeds into the bath. Two work arounds exist: 1) use the built-in one seg recorder to save a program to the SD card (cannot save to internal flash memory) or 2) stream recorded TV from a DLNA-equipped TV or 3) stream media using UPnPlay from my XBMC box (which works flawlessly).

Water Resistance
First off, there is no such thing as "water-proof". The USB and SD slots are sealed with O-rings. Upon startup, the initial splash screen is a reminder to secure the covers before getting it wet. The Arrows Tab has two water-resistant certifications.
  • IPX5: Able to withstand from any angle a 3-minute flow of 12.5 liters/minute from a 6.3 mm nozzle at a 3-meter distance.
  • IPX7: Able to withstand gentle submersion to a 1-m depth in still water at room temperature for 30 minutes.
This means it can be 1) used in the rain (20 mm/hr) without an umbrella for up to an hour and 2) submerged in a 1-meter pool for up to 30 minutes. If using in the bath, do not directly submerge in hot water. Limit usage to 2 hours. Don't allow it to come in contact with soap or detergents or anything other than tap water (NO ONSEN!). It can be washed in the sink.
Hand Gesture Control
So far this is the least used feature. I haven't used it enough to give it a fair review because, frankly, it is very difficult to use. What is supposed to happen is...
  • from a distance of 40 - 60 cm from the front-facing camera,
  • swiping your hand up and down or right and left,
  • within the range of +/- 15˚ and +/- 20˚, respectively, from the center of the camera...
issues up/down/right/left scrolling commands that change the one seg channel, scroll webpages, adjusts volume, etc. What usually results is either nothing or something unexpected. I was often triggering it by accident so I disabled the function. This probably works well with a trained expert under controlled conditions. This rules out me and my home. Arrows appear on the screen upon successful gesture input, often in an incorrect direction.

I actually gestured downward

Preinstalled Software

The screenshot below shows all preinstalled software. Not all of it is crap, though a lot of it is. Some of these applications are nothing but bookmarks. Others are for paid services. Yet others are installers. I actually found my wife using the じゃらん app (domestic hotel/resort reservations).

There are three things in particular that I am quite pleased with.
ATOK Japanese IME
ATOK is preinstalled. While Google's IME is the best free one available, ATOK is simply the best available. It may actually be worth the ¥1,500 price tag. For English, however, the default keyboard is still better. Hopefully one of these days we'll get one keyboard for all languages.

The keyboard notification (next to the USB icon) is a welcome addition for changing languages.
Fujitsu Dictionaries
Included free are very good dictionaries for Japanese to English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Korean, and Chinese. (Neither my wife of I knew that Spain is referred to as 西.) Many of the dictionaries included are 3-way between English, Japanese, and one other language. There are both conversational and standard dictionaries. There are also a number of Japanese dictionaries, including one all about fish. What better to take to the Tsukiji fish market than a water-resistant tablet? I'm not familiar with the price of dictionaries, but having these included seems like a significant added value.

築地魚我河岸ことばの話 example

Dolby Sound Post Processing
I'm not sure if this is common on tablets, but it greatly improves sound quality and contains separate presets for when playing video and music.

Integration with XBMC

Streaming media from XBMC is seamless with UPnPlay. All you have to do is enable UPnP in XBMC. There rest is self explanatory. What's particularly nice is that XBMC serves the actual media "library," not the directory structure spanning various disks. Video requires an external player, such as MX Video Player. There's been a lot written about which chipsets can do hardware decoding of which codecs at which bit rates, resolutions, etc. I'm the wrong person to ask about any of that. I wasn't prompted to install any extra codecs.

Things I don't like

The micro USB is somewhat loose fitting.

No fastboot (as far as I can tell) and a (presumably) locked bootloader.

Uncertainty regarding an update to ICS.

Too new on the market to have any cases available.

It doesn't pick up wifi channels 12 and 13, though my Nexus One does. I used channel 13 because it was the least crowded around me, but was forced to change to ch. 11.