Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: prepaid experience in Japan with AU by KDDI...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    freenet
    Posts
    556
    Device(s)
    Samsung A920/A900 / LG VX4400 / SE1101S (AU)
    Carrier(s)
    SPCS VZW AU-KDDI (JP)
    Feedback Score
    0

    Cool prepaid experience in Japan with AU by KDDI...

    Well, back from Japan, and I decided to do something close to crazy: get a cellphone in Japan on prepaid plan. Here are my trials and tribulations...

    On sunday I get into Japan, and I meet up with my friend in Ueno, Tokyo. Tried an AU store, but it was packed. So we waited till tuesday to attempt to get my cellphone. However, on tuesday, we were in a "smaller" city of Utsumnomia, and it was hellish trying to pay be credit card (note to readers, don't try paying by credit card unless they have a swipe machine, Japan is by far still a very cash based society, and most store clerks don't know how to handle credit cards very well if they don't have a swipe machine). Here are the charges:
    4,000 yen for "registration" (basically activation fee)

    15,800 yen for the Sony-Ericsson A1301S phone, yes its somewhat expensive at about USD 135, but its way cooler than the prepaid phones J-Phone sells, although J-Phone is a better deal, at about 10000 yen, it comes with all you need, including a 3000 yen prepaid card.

    1000 yen for the lowest prepaid credit card, other denominations avail: 3000, 5000, and I think 10,000

    So a grand total of 20,800 yen + 5% tax for the phone. Ouch. But hey, I got a kick *** phone compared to whats here in the US. It also has an English menu option.

    Ringtones
    The phone has a ring composer, which allows you to compose 3 voices for each ringtone, and it will also play a "rhythm" track as a 4th voice if you want to (like a beat/drum track). For each programmable voice, you can choose from a wide selection of voices from the builtin midi voice bank, which includes at least 8 guitar sounds, various piano/synth voices, percussions, and tons of other instrument types. If you saw the menu, it will literally make you dizzy as to which instrument voice to use. It has quite a few builtin rings, including some traditional ringer styles. Some of the rings sound more like PCM/MP3 than midi, and they don't sound like crappily compress qcp either, so not sure the exact format, but they sound like actual samples of songs than midi renditions.
    You can also do caller-id ringer+(pic or animation) assignments for up to 20 numbers + 10 groups. You can also assign custom ring/pic or anim combos for 20 different numbers for incoming c-mail (sms) + 10 groups, and the same for emails and text chat(!) requests.

    Lighting
    Its also got some cool illumination options, kinda like the VX4400 on Verizon, but much more complex. The phone has 2 lights, one in the hinge, visible only when the phone is opened, and one on the outer cover. The light has a good range of colors, which it can fade in and out of each, or flash in patterns. It has some preset ones that fade-in/out of each one smoothly, or flash through each color in a couple of patterns. And guess what, you can program in your own light pattern as well.
    You can also do light pattern assignments the same as for ringtones.

    Phone book
    Quite extensive, includes multiple email and webpage entries for each person, physical address, blood type(!), sign (like aquarius), birthday, hobbies, memo, plus multilple numbers. Sortable via hiragana/English Letters and symbols (!?). Each entry is literally at least 2 pages long on the phone's display.

    Strangely, this phone has no games.

    On to the prepaid service itself. The prepaid service is a voice only service, so no EZweb access. You can send c-mail (sms) messages to other AU subscribers (there is no sms interconnect, so you need to use email (not possible with prepaid) to send messages to other system's phones). You can dial international numbers as well. The rate is not the best, as I think I was paying 100yen per minute for calls to the US, and 60 yen per minute for calls within Japan.

    The phone has a color screen also, not sure if its 65k or 262k, but probably the former. It looks way better than any of the screens I've seen on phones in the US. It also has an internal antenna as well. Whats funny was that when I was in the boonies visiting a family, I was the only one with decent signal, as everyone in the family had docomo, and they all had to put the phone in one spot of the house with the antenna raised to get signal.

    If there is interest, I can take some pics of the phone and post them here, but you can see the phone if you search google for the phone's model number.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    freenet
    Posts
    556
    Device(s)
    Samsung A920/A900 / LG VX4400 / SE1101S (AU)
    Carrier(s)
    SPCS VZW AU-KDDI (JP)
    Feedback Score
    0

    Wink oopsie on the phone's model number...

    its A1101S, sorry for the confusion

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Gulf Coast
    Posts
    15,735
    Device(s)
    Moto G7 Power, Nexus 5X
    Carrier(s)
    T-Mobile, PagePlus
    Feedback Score
    0
    My KDDI/Au experience is a little different. A couple of years ago I picked up a KDDI PDC prepay in Okinawa. It was something like 3000 yen, which included 3000 yen in calling credit (i.e. the phone was free). This phone would work everywhere but the Tokyo area. I kept it active by sending it to Japan with a colleague and a recharge card. Last year Au did a free exchange for a CDMA phone. This phone works all over Japan, including Tokyo. I put a 10,000 yen refill on this phone to keep it active for a full year. I need to get back to Japan this fall to put another 10,000 yen card on it and keep it active another year.
    Donald Newcomb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    freenet
    Posts
    556
    Device(s)
    Samsung A920/A900 / LG VX4400 / SE1101S (AU)
    Carrier(s)
    SPCS VZW AU-KDDI (JP)
    Feedback Score
    0
    Originally posted by DRNewcomb
    My KDDI/Au experience is a little different. A couple of years ago I picked up a KDDI PDC prepay in Okinawa. It was something like 3000 yen, which included 3000 yen in calling credit (i.e. the phone was free). This phone would work everywhere but the Tokyo area. I kept it active by sending it to Japan with a colleague and a recharge card. Last year Au did a free exchange for a CDMA phone. This phone works all over Japan, including Tokyo. I put a 10,000 yen refill on this phone to keep it active for a full year. I need to get back to Japan this fall to put another 10,000 yen card on it and keep it active another year.
    Hmm, was it on TuKa? I sounds like it because AU has been a lot of posters/ads about switching out "Digital" phones to cdmaOne/2000 phones. Also, did the PDC phone have English menus? I did hear that in some 7/11 type convenience stores, you can pick up a pre-pay phone package for quite a bit less as well, like around 3-4000 yen, but I was told that those phones didn't have English menu option. Although I can read kanji, I played with my friend's docomo phone and it was too much for me.

    I don't see why Sony-Ericsson can't/doesn't sell a phone like the A1101S here in the U.S. for Verizon or Sprint. Its got major cool factor, the menu's are already translated, and its actually a low end phone in Japan. You can get it for much cheaper with a contract, around 4-5000 yen. Oh well, I think this phone is more Sony than Ericsson anyway. The internal antenna is quite nice too.

Bookmarks