TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Japanese Calling Home From UK - Questions

Re: Japanese Calling Home From UK - Questions

Marcus Didius Falco (
Mon, 31 Jan 2005 03:18:41 -0500 wrote asking about Japanese Calling Home
>From UK - Questions on Date: 27 Jan 2005 17:50:47 -0800:

> I genuinely want to find the best information for one of my wife's
> cousins who is planning a homestay in the UK for about 6 months. I
> will try and explain as clearly as possible in the hope that it will
> help you answer.

> While I am aware that obtaining a mobile phone is relatively
> hassle-free for someone such as my Japanese cousin, spending 6 months
> in the UK to study English and on a homestay, the problem is this:

> * The cousin is 18 years old, with a relatively low level of English.
> The parents want her to have a mobile phone during the stay in the UK
> to remain easily contactable.

> * However, taking a Japanese-contracted phone to the UK, even assuming
> it can operate there, would be prohibitively expensive due to paying
> for roaming (as far as I know). Due to the extra expense involved,
> this is not the preferred option, unless there is an economical way of
> using a Japan-purchased phone in the UK.

Most or all Japanese phones are not GSM, and so can't be used in the
UK. She can buy a cheap phone on a pay-as-you-go plan (that is,
prepaid). The best deals I found were from Virgin or Orange, but I did
not expect to be calling Japan.

Both companies have pre-paid plans for a few dollars (as little as 10
pounds, which is about $18), and a rather basic phone is not much
more. Virgin will unlock the phone after you've spent about 20 or 30
pounds with them.

> * A phone which can be arranged after arrival in the UK and which
> includes a Japanese language function.

> * A plan/tariff whereby the user (cousin) does not have to pay for
> incoming calls made from Japan by family etc. Or where these are as
> cheap as possible.

> * The main purpose of the phone would be as a means of contact for
> her family in Japan, since she does not know many people in the UK.

> I am hoping to get an answer, in the shape of detailed advice and
> recommendations for suitable models if possible, and I would really
> appreciate anyone's help. Please post here or email me on

If you check the website at, you will get links to all
the plans. You will also get links to the phones available. I can't
say whether any phones available in the UK will have a Japanese
language function -- she might have to buy the phone at the duty-free
shop on the way out of Japan.

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