Internet access in Japan : High-speed Internet and Mobile Internet

Having high-speed internet access (fiber-optic Internet) at home surely is convenient, but there are a few things you should be aware when you apply for the service as it often involves a tricky condition in terms of contract period. Compared to fiber-optic Internet service, using wireless access services is a simple to install, but you should still be careful for the same reason.

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Watch out for the contract period "Shibari".

In Japan, there are three major Internet carriers, NTT, KDDI and SoftBank. They usually offer discounts if you agree to use their service for a certain period, for example, 2 years for the initial contract period etc,. This offer is of course a good deal but what you should be aware of is that they will charge a penalty fee for cancellation during the contract period. Also, the contract is automatically renewed and extended for another period before you know it. This contract style must be as the same as it in other countries.

For example, if you have a 2-year contract staring on August, the contract ends on August 2 years later when the contract period is automatically extended for another 2 years. If you don't want to renew the contract, you need to go through a cancellation procedure within the August. If you cancel the contract in September or later, you are considered to break the contract and will be charged for a penalty fee. If you want to cancel without paying the annoying fee, you will have to wait for August after the next year. We call this term commitment “Shibari” in Japanese.

Users can check the expiry by checking bills or his/her user account, but nobody pays much attention as long as an occasion comes up such as relocation.

Good News. They are reviewing their services

Since too many customers are unhappy about the automatic extension system, the major carriers and IPS providers are reviewing their service (as of June 2015). They are considering to send notification by e-mail to inform expiry, furthermore, users will be entitled to go through a cancellation procedure within two months instead of within one month, which means one month extended. Let's see how it will go.

High-Speed Network Carriers in Japan

NTT East

http://www.ntt-east.co.jp/en/index.html

NTT West

http://www.ntt-west.co.jp/english/

*NTT West and NTT East provide different fiber-optic services each other, in operation covering in different areas. If you move from eastern Japan to western Japan, chances are that you will have to cancel the contract with NTT East, then have a new contract with NTT West. See their coverage - http://www.ntt.co.jp/product/category/area.html

KDDI au

http://www.kddi.com/english/

SoftBank

http://www.softbank.jp/en/corp/

Nuro by So-net

http://www.nuro.jp/

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Mobile/Wireless Network Carriers in Japan

NTT Docomo

https://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/

KDDI au

http://www.au.kddi.com/english/

SoftBank Mobile

http://www.softbank.jp/en/mobile/

UQ WiMax

http://www.uqwimax.jp/

Ymobile

http://www.ymobile.jp/

DMMmobile

http://www.dmm.com/

Related Info : Paid Wi-Fi Services

These services are usually provided without minimum contract period. The fee is paid on a monthly basis by credit card.

Yahoo BB Wireless LAN Spot Services

http://wireless.yahoo.co.jp/ (Japanese Website)
This service allows users to have Internet access at hot spots, including Japan MacDonald.

OCN Wireless LAN Spot Services

http://service.ocn.ne.jp/mobile/hotspot/ (Japanese Website)

Related articles

Using Free WiFi while traveling in Japan
Convenient! Prepaid SIM cards for visitors to Japan

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