Linemo, Ahamo, Povo or Rakuten Un-Limit: Which New Phone Plan is Right for You?

Source: Gaijin Pot
mobile phone prices

Mobile phone contract prices have been a bone of contention in Japan for a number of years now. When he entered office last autumn, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pledged to lower mobile contract fees as one of his flagship policies.

Revisions to the Telecommunications Business Act were made that would, among other things, ban carriers from locking in customers with archaic contracts. Lawmakers also hoped the move would encourage price competition amongst passive phone carriers.

Since the big three phone carriers were forced to offer these prices, they don’t make it easy for you.

Earlier this year, Japan’s big three mobile companies—SoftBank, Docomo and Au—announced plans to launch new, cheaper price plans called Linemo, Ahamo and Povo respectively.

The prices are largely the same (so much for competition), but there are a few minor differences that could sway you to one carrier over another. Big shout out to CorruptPhoenix and other users for compiling much of this info on the r/japanlife subreddit.

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Overview

Not the competitive prices we were expecting.

Since the big three phone carriers were forced to offer these prices, they don’t make it easy for you. They won’t even provide in-store assistance because the plans are offered at such a low cost.

Thus, you must sign up for the plans online, and previous mobile apps you may have been using, such as My Au, will not support these plans. You have to download a completely different app. After signing up, the service is activated by entering your eSIM details (excluding Docomo’s Ahamo) or having a SIM card sent to you by mail.

Switching from your …continue reading