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So what's the softbank network like in japan?

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Why Sprint customers don't get free roaming on Softbank's network boggles my mind....

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Why Sprint customers don't get free roaming on Softbank's network boggles my mind....

They are offering on the other side of the water to sprint network, so who knows why they don't.

 

http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/09/18/softbank-users-in-japan-able-to-roam-all-the-way-to-the-usa-and-pay-the-same-rates/

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The only thing i can determine from videos on youtube and some small research is they have alot of 2.5GHz Spectrum

 

They do have 4G LTE (what version i have no idea)

 

They run a 3G Network on EVDO Rev B with what looks like 2 carriers because the speed tests i have seen all get over 6Mbps.

 

uhhh thats it. i cant read Japanese so thats all i got.

 

I would like to know about their plans, pricing, data allowance or if they are unlimited.

With the couple of times I have been over there I have rented a SoftBank SIM card. It's coverage is on par with say Verizon or AT&T here in the states. Probably even more dense network and works well even on a moving 200MPH train. It was unlimited but they do reserve to manage the network if necessary a.k.a. throttle. I didn't experience it though. 

 

It's pretty much LTE just about anywhere even deep inside buildings. I had very good service on my iPhone 6 Plus.  Considering most of their spectrum is band 41 it's pretty remarkable how robust of a network they built with band 41. 

 

Sprint does offer a $5/month add on which includes unlimited voice/text/data. It's newish, not really advertised, and supposedly for corporate liable lines but international care can likely add it for you: they did add it recently to my personal account. 

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With the couple of times I have been over there I have rented a SoftBank SIM card. It's coverage is on par with say Verizon or AT&T here in the states. Probably even more dense network and works well even on a moving 200MPH train. It was unlimited but they do reserve to manage the network if necessary a.k.a. throttle. I didn't experience it though. 

 

It's pretty much LTE just about anywhere even deep inside buildings. I had very good service on my iPhone 6 Plus.  Considering most of their spectrum is band 41 it's pretty remarkable how robust of a network they built with band 41. 

 

Sprint does offer a $5/month add on which includes unlimited voice/text/data. It's newish, not really advertised, and supposedly for corporate liable lines but international care can likely add it for you: they did add it recently to my personal account. 

 

can you elaborate on this "sprint offering $5/month add on"?  

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can you elaborate on this "sprint offering $5/month add on"?

It is available by contacting Sprint Worldwide. It is unlimited Japan roaming while on the GSM network. You must make sure the device is in GSM mode. You will get charged roaming if you are on CDMA.

 

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Sent from my SM-T237P using Tapatalk

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that's it. Basically it's unlimited while on the SoftBank network. Hence why you must set the phone to GSM only.

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that's it. Basically it's unlimited while on the SoftBank network. Hence why you must set the phone to GSM only.

 

So it is basically like you never left the US (except on GSM), usage wise.... I need to travel to Japan more.

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Now they need to add B41 roaming while they're at it.... ;)

Edited by cdk
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Now they need to add B41 roaming while they're at it.... ;)

You mean other than Japan? Not a lot of places that use it other than maybe east Asia (China, etc..). Right now your phone will use whatever best signal is available on SoftBank while in Japan. If it's a newer Sprint branded smartphone then it will use B41 because the majority of the coverage in Japan on SoftBank is B41. 

 

As a sidenote at least Sprint is getting competitive with roaming. Just noticed they are going with T-Mobile's approach on international roaming: unlimited 2G data, text, and 20 cent/min for voice. Not a ton of countries available right now but certainly the popular ones are. Not sure where they stand on pricing for standalone but they're bundling with the unlimited /Galaxy S6 lease plan. 

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You mean other than Japan? Not a lot of places that use it other than maybe east Asia (China, etc..). Right now your phone will use whatever best signal is available on SoftBank while in Japan. If it's a newer Sprint branded smartphone then it will use B41 because the majority of the coverage in Japan on SoftBank is B41. 

 

As a sidenote at least Sprint is getting competitive with roaming. Just noticed they are going with T-Mobile's approach on international roaming: unlimited 2G data, text, and 20 cent/min for voice. Not a ton of countries available right now but certainly the popular ones are. Not sure where they stand on pricing for standalone but they're bundling with the unlimited /Galaxy S6 lease plan. 

 

No, I meant Japan. They need to offer B41 as part of the add on plan above (it isn't included), or add another option in Japan that includes B41.

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No, I meant Japan. They need to offer B41 as part of the add on plan above (it isn't included), or add another option in Japan that includes B41.

How do you figure B41 roaming is not included with this add on?

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How do you figure B41 roaming is not included with this add on?

 

The fact that it is not specifically mentioned.

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The fact that it is not specifically mentioned.

 

I think it's not mentioned because it's implied.

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So is the GSM/UMTS mode really GSM/UMTS/LTE?

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I think it's not mentioned because it's implied.

Not necessarily so.

Was in layover in Munich in May 2014 and DT was 2G roaming not 3G. You could argue that this was because TMO was not a wholly own subsidiary at that time … but I think even before the metro deal, roaming on dt's networks was not included or free.

Someone who had TMO and traveled to Germany pre metro deal will probably confirm this.

 

 

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Not necessarily so.

Was in layover in Munich in May 2014 and DT was 2G roaming not 3G. You could argue that this was because TMO was not a wholly own subsidiary at that time … but I think even before the metro deal, roaming on dt's networks was not included or free.

Someone who had TMO and traveled to Germany pre metro deal will probably confirm this.

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What you're staying is different from this. You're talking about roaming without an add on in Germany, no?. What were talking about is paying $5 for pretty much switching to Softbank's network in Japan which I'm sure includes LTE, considering their close relationship. I remember a while back Masayoshi Son mentioned he wanted his world vision to be one where Softbank customers could bring their device to the U.S. and roam on Band 41 seamlessly and Sprint customers could roam on Softbanks network seamlessly.

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What you're staying is different from this. You're talking about roaming without an add on in Germany, no?. What were talking about is paying $5 for pretty much switching to Softbank's network in Japan which I'm sure includes LTE, considering their close relationship. I remember a while back Masayoshi Son mentioned he wanted his world vision to be one where Softbank customers could bring their device to the U.S. and roam on Band 41 seamlessly and Sprint customers could roam on Softbanks network seamlessly.

I just went to Japan and while roaming I had LTE on SoftBank. It didn't occur for me to check what band I was on as I was preoccupied with other things but considering Band 41 is the dominant frequency for SoftBank LTE I doubt I was restricted to not having access to band 41. I had LTE everywhere. 

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So is the GSM/UMTS mode really GSM/UMTS/LTE?

It is. Unless the roaming agreement specifically blocks out LTE which used to happen in the early days of LTE. Now as long as you're roaming on a postpaid plan you get whatever best network is available if your phone supports it. 

 

Each phone expresses this mode differently. Some Android phones allow you to choose between LTE/CDMA mode or LTE/GSM/UMTS mode. iPhones will usually have an option to turn off international CDMA roaming which then by default will use LTE/GSM/UMTS.

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