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Old Jan 31, 11, 5:38 pm   #1
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MiFi Wifi Rental in Japan and Korea

(Most of thread is for Japan, but see post 15 for Korea Specific Info)

Fellow FT'ers

I've stopped using my phone (US SIM) in Japan for quite some time and divert my phone to voicemail and only use it for SMS. Most of the time my local partner companies I work with give me a loaner phone with tethering that works out OK.

About a year ago I rented a MiFi from these guys (and have done so a few more times since then)
http://www.globaladvancedcomm.com/pocketwifi.html

It's on E-Mobile's HSDPA network and worked quite well; the battery kind of blew quick but I purchased a phone battery extender (basically a LiIon battery module you charge across USB and then plug your phone/MiFi to to extend battery).

This worked REALLY well; even Skype on my Android phone worked well with it along with SIP calling via Gizmo5 (legacy Google Voice).

It was 5000 Yen for 3 days; which isn't cheap but I setup my US phone to forward to my Skype In US number and viola; inbound and outbound calls on the cheap (just the 1-2 cents a min) Data was also exceptional - just turned off 3G data on my Android and had it use WiFi to the MiFi device. I've also tried it with T-Mobile US's WiFi Calling feature and it WORKS PERFECTLY! (on an unlocked Nexus One with the modified installation of WiFi calling) - so I get my standard TMO US number in and out without the need to bridge through Skype [And TMO US WiFi Calling does NOT check GPS coordinates like the AT&T hotspot extenders do]

So this begs the questions...

Is there anything better for MiFi renting than 5000 Yen for 3 days [basically turns to 7000 Yen a week as days past 3 are 500 Yen a day]. Now before you complain I can burn through 50 USD-100 USD a Day in data roaming in Japan; something I was always keen to avoid. This way I get a "Flat" 1600 Yen a day or so for my initial three days and 500 Yen a day after that. Something my CFO appreciates. Plus; my MiFi is shared by two others normally travelling with me. Please' don't suggest the Japan Comm/B-Mobile 30 Day limited bandwidth SIM!

So; Anyone see a better deal than Global Advanced [who had it delivered to my Hotel in Tokyo and my hotel shipped it back in a prepaid mailer]. I'm asking my local rep to just buy a MiFi for me and bill my company in the long run; but looking for options for the occasional trip.

For reference; the E-Mobile MiFi Rental gets about 2-5Mb/sec downstream and average (some locations higher) and generally 500Kb to 1.5Mb upstream.

Last edited by NickP 1K; Oct 26, 11 at 8:36 pm
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Old Jan 31, 11, 5:57 pm   #2
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http://www.globaldata.jp/

You can look into that one. I haven't personally tried it and only know about this because JAL is currently running a promotion

Looks like they are using NTTDocomo in Japan with 7.2Mbps downstream and 5.8Mbps upstream speed.
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Old Feb 1, 11, 8:14 am   #3
  
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http://www.globaldata.jp/

You can look into that one. I haven't personally tried it and only know about this because JAL is currently running a promotion

Looks like they are using NTTDocomo in Japan with 7.2Mbps downstream and 5.8Mbps upstream speed.
Watch out. One of the services they operate, Global Data 3G Data SIM does not allow VoIP including skype.
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Old Feb 1, 11, 9:10 am   #4
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Rentafone Japan rents out a 3G Docomo network device for JPY 5900 for the week unless you are also renting a phone in which case this device is only JPY 300 / day. They also rent out a WiMax device.
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Old Feb 1, 11, 12:23 pm   #5
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Rentafone Japan rents out a 3G Docomo network device for JPY 5900 for the week unless you are also renting a phone in which case this device is only JPY 300 / day. They also rent out a WiMax device.
Yosithezet: Thanks... I just ordered this for next week and will report back. I liked the MiFi I had previously - will compare how the two differ once I finish my trip. Will update the thread afterwards. Great weekly rate from these guys!
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Old Feb 1, 11, 1:56 pm   #6
  
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@NickP 1K,

Thank you for the info. I'm visiting Japan in March for 3 weeks, and was wondering how good the mifi of Global Advanced is. as the fee gets cheaper beyond 10 days. It seems Rentafone will cost me more or less the same. Looking forward to your report back.

BTW. Did you reserve the mifi of Global Advanced before you arrive Japan?
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Old Feb 1, 11, 6:18 pm   #7
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@NickP 1K,

Thank you for the info. I'm visiting Japan in March for 3 weeks, and was wondering how good the mifi of Global Advanced is. as the fee gets cheaper beyond 10 days. It seems Rentafone will cost me more or less the same. Looking forward to your report back.

BTW. Did you reserve the mifi of Global Advanced before you arrive Japan?
I reserved the MiFi with Global Advanced last time less than a week before and they had it at my hotel the day before I arrived. I just confirmed with Rentafone on the rental for next week and they will have it shipped to arrive the day before I arrive... What I REALLY like with these rental guys in Japan is they only auth the RENTAL amount on my credit card. I've used guys in the US who auth an extra 500 USD for deposit - this sucks with todays credit limits.

Global Advanced will send you to a 3rd party processor for payment and they will confirm back they got the payment before they ship. I've NOT had any issues with this.
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Old Feb 15, 11, 11:12 am   #8
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Quick Review on Bic WiMax MiFi from Rentafone Japan

Got the Rentafone Japan WiMax MiFi last week.

Worked pretty good. It was delivered to my hotel before I arrived. Took a few mins to get it up and running (power up and use the WPA code on the sticker on the unit).

Battery was about 4 hours; but I had a bridge battery via USB and it kept going for 8; charged whenever I could and it was all good.

Carried it with me in my coat pocket while my Android phone used it for Skype voice calls and regular data. Latency was OK for Skype but T-Mobile WiFi Calling had some warble noise in the background (but SMS over T-Mobile WiFi tunnel WORKED PERFECT! - Free SMS's when in Japan!)

Got low of about 500Kb/sec but did peak in some areas to 4Mb/sec downstream. Upstream was on average 1MB/sec.

Coverage was OK. Only missing area was JR/subways where I know HSDPA on E-Mobile MiFi's works ; it was complete blackout between stations.

For returning the MiFi, I dropped it at Haneda airport ; at a Post Office drop box in the lower level 1 (bus pickup area) in the Intl terminal.

They emailed me Monday to advise it was received back and confirmed final charges. All in all a good experience vs. spending money roaming.

Last edited by NickP 1K; Feb 16, 11 at 4:12 pm
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Old Feb 15, 11, 1:13 pm   #9
  
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Thanks for the report back.

Just want to clarify. What you rented this time was GlobalAdvanced's pocket wifi, not Winmax Pocket wifi from Rentafone Japan.
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Old Feb 16, 11, 9:00 am   #10
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They emailed me Monday to advise it was received back and confirmed final charges. All in all a good experience vs. spending money roaming.
Sounds like a good experience. So, would you do it again? With them? With the other company?
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Old Feb 16, 11, 4:12 pm   #11
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Thanks for the report back.

Just want to clarify. What you rented this time was GlobalAdvanced's pocket wifi, not Winmax Pocket wifi from Rentafone Japan.
You are correct, sorry half asleep when I typed up the review, just corrected my post. It was from Rentafone Japan
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Old Feb 16, 11, 4:14 pm   #12
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Sounds like a good experience. So, would you do it again? With them? With the other company?
For a longer stay I would rent the rentafone japan WiMax Mifi...seems cheaper for the extra days. Performance was good. Will use them for sure next time as well. There return drop envelope is a standard envelope which means I can just put it in any post box; some other services require a courier picked up envelope - not ideal if you want to return it the last possible moment (e.g. at the airport in a post office drop box)
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Old Oct 19, 11, 9:55 am   #13
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Rentaphone Japan

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickP 1K View Post
For a longer stay I would rent the rentafone japan WiMax Mifi...seems cheaper for the extra days. Performance was good. Will use them for sure next time as well. There return drop envelope is a standard envelope which means I can just put it in any post box; some other services require a courier picked up envelope - not ideal if you want to return it the last possible moment (e.g. at the airport in a post office drop box)
I just rented the BIC Wimax for a week from Rentaphone Japan as well. All-in-all, a good experience.

My first day, in the Tokyo Bay area, I had no signal. They told me it was a function of the technology in some places. However, in Kyoto and back in Tokyo at the Hyatt Regency in Roppongi Hills, it was lightening fast. Right up there with the fastest HSIA I've ever experienced.

At ~$100 for a week without a coinciding phone rental, it's not cheap, but it was well worth it for me. I will rent from them again next time I'm in Japan.
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Old Oct 26, 11, 5:44 pm   #14
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I just rented the BIC Wimax for a week from Rentaphone Japan as well. All-in-all, a good experience.

My first day, in the Tokyo Bay area, I had no signal. They told me it was a function of the technology in some places. However, in Kyoto and back in Tokyo at the Hyatt Regency in Roppongi Hills, it was lightening fast. Right up there with the fastest HSIA I've ever experienced.

At ~$100 for a week without a coinciding phone rental, it's not cheap, but it was well worth it for me. I will rent from them again next time I'm in Japan.
Hmmm, never had an issue in Tokyo Bay areas. I just rented the HSDPA one from Global Advanced Comm and it was NOTICEABLE how much slower it was then the BIC WiMax unit! Will go back to the Bic WiMax. BTW Global Advanced does a 42Mb/sec HSDPA+ unit but they said it wasn't available the dates I want it. I'm back in two weeks and Bic WiMax again I guess... should just get my rep to buy one of these and bill me the annual - would be much cheaper then renting these so often?
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Old Oct 26, 11, 8:35 pm   #15
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Korea WiMax Wifi device Rental (Airports at least)

I've also now rented WiBro/Wimax from KT/Olleh Wibro counters in the arrivals area (after customs) at Incheon. These tend to be about 30 USD for 3 days (about 8 USD a day) and are as good as the Bic WiMax in Japan for speed/performance. No reservation needed. But the counter for WiBro doesn't open till 7AM - between Arrivals Door Gate 8/9. The other centers they talk about are KT/Olleh rental locations but they do NOT always have WiBro/Wimax devices available. The counter at 8/9 generally ALWAYS does no reservation needed. There is also a counter at Gimpo International Terminal. They run a 150USD hold on your Credit card but DO NOT charge your card; you can even pay cash when you leave. The hold on the card is normally for 5 days from pickup; so if you rent for a week the hold is normally gone anyway.

See here: http://roaming.kt.com/eng/use/rental_wibro.asp

The WiMax coverage is actually greater than the map above now. They also do a WiMax/HSDPA combo but that is USB stick only (NOT a Wifi/Mifi)
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