Tech Report: Japan
Part of our trip is focused on experimenting with technology and mobile networks as we travel around the world. A tech report is our way of relating the geeky side of what we're discovering.
This quote from an informative Japan Zone article may help:
Very briefly, there are three mobile phone technologies supported by the major networks within Japan - PDC (Personal Digital Cellular), CDMA (Code Divisional Multiple Access) and WCDMA. DoCoMo, Vodafone and TU-KA support the established PDC, and DoCoMo and Vodafone have also introduced the newer WCDMA, while AU supports CDMA. All three of these technologies are incompatible with each other.
It is possible to rent phones while in
I had assumed that the Japanese are big users of SMS (short message system), but this is not the case. They do use their phones for text communication, but it all occurs via email, not SMS. The difference is the same as it is between instant messaging and email on your home computer.
More than any other Asian country, in-room Internet access in the norm, and often with blazing fiber-optic connection speeds. I made a habit of bit-torrenting all sorts of things while in
Wi-fi is available somewhat ubiquitously, though we did not seek it out often. In most urban settings, I would see networks available, but mostly secured. In the remote Alpine mountain
If I could do it over again, I would likely rent a Japanese phone and give it a test run. It is also important to remember that buying electronics abroad can sometimes be hazardous. Products like cameras, computers, etc. are meant for the Japanese public and not visitors so they have instruction manuals, cords and even keyboards/controls built to Japanese specifications.