3 Replies Latest reply: Jul 6, 2010 4:59 AM by Triple R
Pistolen08 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hello-

I am looking a buying an iPad, but in October I'll be moving to Japan for a 1 year study abroad program. I know that US iPads aren't carrier locked (while Japanese ones are). If I go ahead and purchase one in the US, will I be able to have 3G connectivity in Japan? Softbank doesn't seem to offer much info on the subject, so I'm wondering if I will be able to use their data service without buying the iPad from them. I don't want a Japanese one because then it will be useless when I return to the states.

Thanks!
-Elliot

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • 1. Re: Using an American iPad in Japan
    OrangeMarlin Level 5 Level 5 (5,130 points)
    Pistolen08 wrote:
    Hello-

    I am looking a buying an iPad, but in October I'll be moving to Japan for a 1 year study abroad program. I know that US iPads aren't carrier locked (while Japanese ones are). If I go ahead and purchase one in the US, will I be able to have 3G connectivity in Japan? Softbank doesn't seem to offer much info on the subject, so I'm wondering if I will be able to use their data service without buying the iPad from them. I don't want a Japanese one because then it will be useless when I return to the states.

    Thanks!
    -Elliot


    OK, this is how I understand it with Softbank. If you're just traveling there, on a tourist visa, you have no shot at getting a local data plan. If you're there on a green card (or whatever Japanese immigration call it) or a student Visa, AND you have a local address, you can get one. If you don't speak Japanese, bring someone along to translate for you.

    So, depending on what you're doing there, you can get a local data plan.
  • 2. Re: Using an American iPad in Japan
    Pistolen08 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the quick reply!
    I'm staying there on a 1 year student visa, so it sounds like I should be fine.
    The coordinator said that someone will accompany me to get a cell phone, so I know that I can at least get that. I have heard that Softbank doesn't allow you to activate service on a phone that you didn't buy from them. Do you think this will be the case with the iPad as well? Would it be possible to get a SIM from another carrier if Softbank didn't allow it?
  • 3. Re: Using an American iPad in Japan
    Triple R Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I live in Tokyo & have US iPhones & iPad, along with Japanese iPhones. Here is a short answer:
    As of now, you cannot buy a micro-SIM from Softbank. There is a better solution that we use with my wife's US iPad 3G - Softbank sell ~$350 US a Portable WiFi device (USB) that takes cell & coverts to WiFi. They allow up to 5 WiFi connections on this device. If you sign up for 2 year plan, then the device only costs $100. The fees are the same as a Japanese iPhone - $18 to $50 depending on use of data. The $50 is a max no matter how much data you use. It is really working well for my wife's iPad.

    Hope this helps.