Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NTT Docomo announces free wifi access

Docomo has always charged a premium relative to the other Japanese carriers. They were the last to introduce free in-network calling with the Xi Talk 24 Plan, and up until now, their wifi access cost an additional ¥300.

However, from September 1, 2012 until March 31, 2014, subscribers to the "Docomo Wi-Fi" plan will be granted free access to the 30,000+ access points Docomo has placed in stations, airports, cafes, and similar locations. By March 2013, Docomo claims they will nearly double the number of access points.

After the campaign expires, hot spot access will remain free, forever, as long as you fulfill the requirements by subscribing to both 1) an Xi (LTE) or Foma (3G) mobile data plan and 2) a blackberry, Mopera, or SP Mode ISP*
また、キャンペーン期間中から継続して適用条件を満たす限り、キャンペーン期間終了後も「docomo Wi-Fi」の月額使用料315円を無料といたします。
Xi data plan subscribers are currently receiving heavy discounts until September. Accordingly, Xi subscribers will not be eligible until the Xi data discounts end on October 1. At the same time, the Xi Lite plan will become available.

Existing subscribers to the "Docomo Wi-Fi" service will automatically receive the discount. Those who aren't currently subscribed will need to add the plan. There is an app on the market called docomo Wi-Fi かんたん接続 to simplify connecting from and Android device.

Docomo press release (J)

*all normal Docomo smartphone users will have one of these ISPs. The required data plans are also the standard data plans.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks a lot for this, I never would have known about it without your awesome blog! One point though: if you read the conditions (適用条件) again, it's only the "flat rate" plans that are eligible for free wifi after the campaign ends, not all "standard data plans". I applied yesterday and they confirmed that for my data plan (packet houdai double 2), wifi is only free until the end of the campaign. They also said that the campaign is effective immediately; I didn't have to wait until 1st September.

    ReplyDelete
  2. From what I could gather asking at a docomo shop yesterday, the docomo WiFi plan itself is 315 yen per month. Maybe before there was an additional 315 yen to use it???


    Also, if you get the plan, it can be used only from the docomo phone you get it for. You don't have access to the WiFi hotspots via a password for any other devices.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Does it only work for your docomo device, as the user above you stated? That would make this "deal" kind of pointless to me, then.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It works with my wifi iPad.

    ReplyDelete
  5. From what I'm learning about my new docomo service, you have to enter the alphanumeric password EVERY TIME when you come within range of a docomo wifi AP. The Android app for auto-connect to docomo wifi gets so-so reviews and there is nothing for iPhone... My kids on SoftBank are laughing at me for the lousy service I'm getting with docomo!

    ReplyDelete
  6. What's your own impression of the android app? Have you tried it? Sounds like you haven't, so don't knock it til ya try it ;)

    If you don't use it, you will have to sign in every time. You can always use DCM wifi on your notebook. One of our contributors has used each of the three services a lot and thinks DCM's is the best, though your milage may vary.

    I find the DCM app more or less works, and it has a setting for whether to auto or manually connect. Autoconnect is probably a bad idea because it will attempt to connect every single time it sniffs a DCM AP, which will disrupt your packet transmissions during the handshake and when you get disconnected and fall back to 3G/LTE.

    In manual mode, it only works with a widget that shows the strength of DCM wifi signals. Tap the widget to connect.

    ReplyDelete