Tuesday, June 26, 2012

B-mobile "PairGB" shared data plan

JCI apparently doesn't understand how to make money with a mobile data network. Conventional wisdom holds that customers should pay premium prices for redundant services. Need a data plan for a tablet? That'll be an additional 50 bucks, thank you.

So, I don't know what the folks at JCE were thinking when they announced the equivalent of a "shared minutes" scheme, with 2 SIMs using the same data plan. My goodness, they're going to ruin it for the whole industry.


A 2 GB LTE "4G" data plan is split between two separate SIM cards for ¥2,970/month, less than the cost of their 1 GB flat rate 3G SIM. Regular size and microSIMs can be mixed. Any 3G devices will work at normal speeds. These SIMs are data-only and available from either Amazon or Yodobashi.

A retail package containing two SIM cards costs ¥3,150. At the time of purchase, the SIMs are unactivated and have no charge. A credit card must be used to add a service plan for ¥2,970/month. If 2 GB is exceed in a month, additional data can be added at ¥525/100 MB. As far as I can tell, the SIMs are permanently deactivated if service is cancelled.

This would be excellent for a pair of secondary data devices, such as two tablets or handsets that don't need voice, and is perfect for a couple where one person uses much less data than the other.


  1. I'm following your website for some time now, very interesting! Thanks.

    I'm at the point to buy a new phone/plan and because prices in Europe are much cheaper for mobile internet, I can't allow myself to pay Japan's ridiculous internet fee. Do you think the following would work;

    - Get a sim-unlocked Samsung Galaxy SIII (on Amazon for example; http://www.amazon.co.jp/Samsung-Galaxy-16GB-GT-I9300-SIM%E3%83%95%E3%83%AA%E3%83%BC-%E3%83%9B%E3%83%AF%E3%82%A4%E3%83%88/dp/B0087O9084/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345523473&sr=8-1)
    - Apply for a data only plan (bmobile 4G)
    - Apply for OCN VoIP and use that number on the SIII

    This way I would pay 52.000 yen (one time) for the phone, and monthly 3000 yen (or cheaper with a 6/12 month plan) for 2GB, using a 050 VoIPnumber with cheap calling.

    Does b-mobile filter VoIP traffic? Or any other show stoppers for this solution?

  2. Thank you for shared it!
    Do you think I can buy and use it just in one device? I absolutely need 2 gb and it seems the best solution for me (and the difference with the 1gb one it's absurd!!!)

  3. Hello,

    I am thinking about getting this SIM card and just using it on my own because it provides the most amount of data for the best price. I want to use it with a Google Nexus 4 though, is this possible? Reading on b-mobile's website, it states that this SIM card provides LTE and the Nexus 4 is not compatible with LTE. Will it work?

    Thank you,

  4. LTE SIMs fall back to UMTS, so it'll work. However the N4 doesn't support all the frequencies used by Docomo, meaning that with b-mobile, it might not get reception in hard to reach underground places and deep in the mountains. This will be the same for Docomo or any MVNO.

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