DOCOMO Offers Foreigners Free Access to Mobile Phone Network in Japan

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NTT DOCOMO, INC. has announced its Japan Welcome SIM series will introduce Plan 0 (read “plan zero”) to allow overseas visitors in Japan to access the Internet for free via the DOCOMO mobile network, from December 26.

The free service will initially be available in Hokkaido and Niigata prefectures, after which other areas will be added sequentially.

Along with the addition of Plan 0, Japan Welcome SIM’s Plan 1000 and Plan 1700 will be renamed as Plan S and Plan M respectively, and a Plan L will be newly added for large-volume users of high-speed data communications. These changes will also apply from December 26.

DOCOMO has launched various fee-based plans for Japan Welcome SIM since July, but Plan 0 is the first free plan in the series. Customers can qualify for the free service by viewing designated advertisements in their home countries before visiting Japan.

Plan 0 is being offered in collaboration with local governments and business partners that are interested in targeting specific foreign visitors through advertisements and by setting various conditions for service usage, such as application periods, SIM pick-up periods, SIM handover locations, total SIMs to be offered, and more.

Japan Welcome SIM is provided as a 3-in-1 SIM card compatible with regular, micro and nano formats. Access to the DOCOMO network is provided for 15 days under various plans — Plan 0, Plan S, Plan M and Plan L. Plan 0 offers free Internet in exchange for viewing a certain number of video ads and completing a survey prior to arriving in Japan.

Ad-free access at 128 Kbps is available for ¥1,080 (Plan S), or high-speed (max. 788 Mbps*1) 4G access is available with Plan M (¥1,836 for 600 MB) and Plan L (¥2,376 for 1.2 GB). Users can continue to enjoy the high-speed service by topping up their SIMs for ¥216 (100 MB), ¥756 (500 MB) or ¥1,296 (1 GB). Alternatively, the SIMs can be topped up with free high-speed data through methods such as watching video ads or completing surveys.

Even after purchased high-speed data amounts have been used up, access to the network is still available at 128 Kbps for the remainder of the 15-day period.


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