Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cost per megabyte of Japanese MVNO data plans

Building on the recent post compiling all the currently available MVNO data plans, here is a comparison of the "high speed" data plans in graphical form. These are all advertised at standard 3G and LTE speeds, though they all are "best effort," and all (except for the JCI b-mobile "fair" products) include traffic shaping by the MVNO.

Therefore, in practice, these will perform less well than a data plan directly from a mobile network operator (e.g., KDDI, Softbank, Docomo).

The colors indicate the degree of early termination fee (ETF), with blues indicating zero penalties, and Reds indicating potentially great expense. Some of these MVNOs will charge you the entire rest of the remaining contract balance if you cancel early! The hatching indicates the minimum usage (in months) required to be eligible for that particular monthly price.

Biglobe is providing the absolute best value, but they use 2-year, autorenewing contracts. Without a contract the JCI chameleon with the 5 GB Flat rate option is the next best deal.

The Panasonic "LTE Speed" plan is ridiculous. It provides 7 GB of data for ¥6,780 with an auto-renewing 1-year contract. That same amount of data direct from Docomo costs ¥5,985 with a 2-year contract.

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