Complete Guide broadband & Internet Service providers in Japan (Updated June 2024)

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Here is a table comparing several broadband providers in Japan for 2024, including their schemes, installation details, contract terms, and pricing:

ProviderPlanSpeedPrice (Monthly)Installation FeeContract LengthEnglish Support
SoftBank AirBasic PlanUp to 962 Mbps¥5,368 (¥4,180 for first year)NoneNoneAvailable
SoftBank HikariApartment/House PlanUp to 1 Gbps¥4,180 (Apartment) / ¥5,720 (House)¥30,000 (waived for switch)2 YearsAvailable
Docomo HikariApartment/House PlanUp to 1 Gbps¥4,180 (Apartment) / ¥5,500 (House)¥20,0002 YearsAvailable
Au HikariApartment/House PlanUp to 1 Gbps¥4,180 (Apartment) / ¥5,610 (House)¥30,000 – ¥40,0002 YearsAvailable
Nuro HikariBasic PlanUp to 2 Gbps¥5,217¥44,000 + ¥3,3002 YearsLimited
Sakura Fiber InternetBasic PlanAvg. 274 Mbps¥7,128¥7,700 – ¥29,7003 MonthsFull English Support
SpinNetBasic PlanAvg. 274 Mbps¥5,500 – ¥14,300¥5,500 – ¥27,280UnknownSome English Support
Asahi NetBasic PlanAvg. 232 Mbps¥6,358¥20,6802 YearsSome English Support

Notes:

  • SoftBank Air does not require an installation fee and is ideal for immediate setup without the need for fiber-optic installation.
  • SoftBank Hikari, Docomo Hikari, and Au Hikari require installation fees but may waive them if switching from another provider.
  • Nuro Hikari offers the highest theoretical speed but has the highest installation costs.
  • Sakura Fiber Internet provides full English support with a shorter minimum contract length, making it suitable for international residents.
  • SpinNet and Asahi Net provide some level of English support but have varying fees and contract terms.

Additional Considerations:

  • Mobile Discounts: Providers like SoftBank, Docomo, and Au offer discounts for users of their mobile services.
  • Router Rental: Some providers include router rental in their monthly fees, while others might charge an additional fee.

These details can help you choose the best broadband service in Japan based on your needs for speed, cost, and support. For more specific details, you can visit the providers’ websites or contact their customer service.

Based on the latest data from June 2024, here is a detailed comparison of major broadband providers in Japan, including their schemes, installation details, contract terms, pricing, and early termination fees:

ProviderPlanSpeedMonthly PriceInstallation FeeContract LengthEarly Termination FeeEnglish Support
SoftBank AirBasic PlanUp to 962 Mbps¥5,368 (¥4,180 for first year)NoneNoneNoneAvailable
SoftBank HikariApartment/House PlanUp to 1 Gbps¥4,180 (Apartment) / ¥5,720 (House)¥30,000 (waived for switch)2 Years¥10,000 – ¥30,000Available
Docomo HikariApartment/House PlanUp to 1 Gbps¥4,180 (Apartment) / ¥5,500 (House)¥20,0002 Years¥10,000 – ¥20,000Available
Au HikariApartment/House PlanUp to 1 Gbps¥4,180 (Apartment) / ¥5,610 (House)¥30,000 – ¥40,0002 Years¥10,000 – ¥30,000Available
Nuro HikariBasic PlanUp to 2 Gbps¥5,217¥44,000 + ¥3,3002 Years¥10,000 – ¥30,000Limited
Sakura Fiber InternetBasic PlanAvg. 274 Mbps¥7,128¥7,700 – ¥29,7003 MonthsNoneFull English Support
SpinNetBasic PlanAvg. 274 Mbps¥5,500 – ¥14,300¥5,500 – ¥27,280VariesVariesSome English Support
Asahi NetBasic PlanAvg. 232 Mbps¥6,358¥20,6802 Years¥10,000 – ¥20,000Some English Support

Key Points of a 2-Year Contract:

  1. Commitment Period:
    • You are committing to remain subscribed to the service for a full 24 months from the start date of the contract.
  2. Early Termination Fees:
    • If you decide to cancel the service before the 2-year period is up, you will likely be required to pay a penalty or early termination fee. This fee can vary but usually ranges from 10,000 to 30,000 JPY.
  3. Monthly Fees:
    • During the contract period, you will be billed a fixed monthly fee for the internet service as per the agreed plan.
  4. Installation Fees:
    • There is often an upfront installation fee which can be waived or reduced in some cases, such as switching from another provider or during special promotions.
  5. Contract Renewal:
    • At the end of the 2-year period, the contract may automatically renew for another term unless you cancel it during the renewal window. This window is usually a specific month when you can cancel without incurring a penalty.
  6. Price Stability:
    • The monthly fee and terms are generally fixed for the duration of the contract, offering price stability.

Example:

If you sign up for a broadband plan with a 2-year contract starting on January 1, 2024, you are obligated to maintain the service until December 31, 2025. If you cancel in March 2025, you would likely have to pay an early termination fee. However, if you cancel in January 2026, after the contract period, you can do so without any additional fees, assuming you follow the provider’s cancellation procedure.

Advantages:

  • Lower Monthly Rates: Long-term contracts often come with lower monthly rates compared to month-to-month plans.
  • Promotional Offers: You may get discounts or promotional offers, such as reduced installation fees or bundled services.

Disadvantages:

  • Lack of Flexibility: You’re locked into the service for two years, limiting your ability to switch providers or plans.
  • Early Termination Fees: Cancelling early can result in substantial fees.

Summary

A 2-year contract binds you to use the internet service for a fixed period of 24 months, offering potential cost benefits but also committing you to a long-term agreement with penalties for early termination. Always read the terms and conditions carefully before signing up for such contracts.

Comparison of Pocket WiFi rental options in Japan [ Month]

Here is a detailed comparison of Pocket WiFi rental options in Japan as of June 2024, including various charges and details:

ProviderData PlanSpeedDaily PriceMonthly PriceInstallation FeeContract LengthEarly Termination FeeBattery LifePickup/Return LocationsLast Minute Order
Sakura MobileUnlimited20 Mbps¥493/day¥14,760NoneNoneNone20 hoursHotels/Airports, Return via Post1 Day Before
Japan Wireless50 GB/Month612 Mbps¥430/day¥7,670¥1,650 (charger + shipping)NoneNone14 hoursHotels/Airports, Return via Post2 Days Before
Ninja Wifi3 GB/Day187.5 Mbps¥700/day¥21,000NoneNoneNone9 hoursAirports, Return via Post1 Day Before
SoftBank Global RentalUnlimited187 Mbps¥860/day¥25,800¥1,330 (admin + courier fee)NoneNone6 hoursHotels/Airports, Return via Post1 Day Before
PuPuRuUnlimited150 Mbps¥550/day¥16,500NoneNoneNone10 hoursAirports/Hotel delivery, Return via Post1 Day Before
GlocalMe1 GB/Day150 Mbps¥400/day¥12,000NoneNoneNone10 hoursDelivery to address, Return via Post2 Days Before
GENKI MOBILE7 GB100 Mbps¥273/day¥8,190NoneNoneNone12 hoursHotels/Airports, Return via Post2 Days Before

Key Features and Considerations:

  • Unlimited Data Plans: Providers like Sakura Mobile and SoftBank Global Rental offer truly unlimited data plans suitable for high data usage without throttling.
  • High Speed: Japan Wireless offers high-speed connections up to 612 Mbps, ideal for heavy internet activities.
  • Affordable Options: GENKI MOBILE and GlocalMe provide cost-effective daily rates for travelers needing moderate data usage.
  • Battery Life: Most devices offer a battery life between 6 to 20 hours, ensuring continuous connectivity throughout the day.
  • Pickup/Return Convenience: Devices can be picked up and returned at major airports, hotels, or via post boxes, offering flexibility for travelers.

Additional Details:

  • Responsive Customer Service: Providers like Sakura Mobile and Japan Wireless are known for their responsive customer service and extensive support in English.
  • Insurance Options: Some providers offer optional insurance to cover potential damage or loss of the device.

Comparison of Pocket WiFi rental options in Japan [ YEAR ]

Here is a detailed comparison of Pocket WiFi rental options in Japan for June 2024, including yearly data plans and various charges:

ProviderData PlanSpeedMonthly PriceYearly PriceInstallation FeeContract LengthEarly Termination FeeBattery LifePickup/Return LocationsLast Minute Order
Sakura MobileUnlimited20 Mbps¥3,960/month¥47,520None1 Year¥10,00020 hoursHotels/Airports, Return via Post1 Day Before
Japan Wireless50 GB/Month612 Mbps¥7,670/month¥92,040¥1,650 (charger + shipping)1 Year¥15,00014 hoursHotels/Airports, Return via Post2 Days Before
Ninja Wifi3 GB/Day187.5 Mbps¥6,500/month¥78,000None1 Year¥12,0009 hoursAirports, Return via Post1 Day Before
SoftBank Global RentalUnlimited187 Mbps¥8,600/month¥103,200¥1,330 (admin + courier fee)1 Year¥18,0006 hoursHotels/Airports, Return via Post1 Day Before
PuPuRuUnlimited150 Mbps¥5,500/month¥66,000None1 Year¥9,00010 hoursAirports/Hotel delivery, Return via Post1 Day Before
GlocalMe1 GB/Day150 Mbps¥4,000/month¥48,000None1 Year¥8,00010 hoursDelivery to address, Return via Post2 Days Before
GENKI MOBILE7 GB/Month100 Mbps¥2,273/month¥27,276None1 Year¥5,00012 hoursHotels/Airports, Return via Post2 Days Before

Key Features and Considerations:

  • Unlimited Data Plans: Providers like Sakura Mobile and SoftBank Global Rental offer truly unlimited data plans suitable for high data usage without throttling.
  • High Speed: Japan Wireless offers high-speed connections up to 612 Mbps, ideal for heavy internet activities.
  • Affordable Options: GENKI MOBILE and GlocalMe provide cost-effective monthly rates for moderate data usage.
  • Battery Life: Most devices offer a battery life between 6 to 20 hours, ensuring continuous connectivity throughout the day.
  • Pickup/Return Convenience: Devices can be picked up and returned at major airports, hotels, or via post boxes, offering flexibility for travelers.
  • Customer Support: Providers like Sakura Mobile and Japan Wireless are known for their responsive customer service and extensive support in English.

Based on the information from June 2024, here is a detailed comparison of the yearly Pocket WiFi plans in Japan, including the various charges:

ProviderData PlanSpeedYearly PriceInstallation FeeContract LengthEarly Termination FeeBattery LifePickup/Return LocationsLast Minute Order
Year Giga Pocket100 GB/year150 Mbps¥29,800None1 YearNone10 hoursDelivery to address, Return via Post2 Days Before
Docomo Line100 GB/year612 Mbps¥36,000None1 Year¥10,00012 hoursHotels/Airports, Return via Post2 Days Before
Docomo 365 Days100 GB/year187.5 Mbps¥40,000None1 Year¥15,0009 hoursAirports, Return via Post1 Day Before
365 Charge WiFi100 GB/year100 Mbps¥28,000None1 YearNone8 hoursDelivery to address, Return via Post1 Day Before

Compare Docomo home 5G Plan vs SoftBank Air plan

Comparison Table

FeatureDocomo Home 5G PlanSoftBank Air Plan
ProviderNTT DocomoSoftBank
DeviceHome 5G HR02Air Terminal 5
5G Max SpeedDownload: 4.2 GbpsDownload: 2.1 Gbps
Upload: 218 MbpsUpload: Not disclosed
4G Max SpeedDownload: 1.7 GbpsDownload: 838 Mbps
Upload: 131.3 MbpsUpload: Not disclosed
Average Speed243.8 Mbps104.0 Mbps
Data LimitUnlimitedUnlimited
Monthly Price¥4,950¥5,368
Initial Cost¥3,300 (contract fee)¥3,300 (contract fee)
Device Cost¥71,280 (effectively free)¥71,280 (effectively free)
Smartphone DiscountUp to ¥1,100 off/monthUp to ¥1,100 off/month
Contract LengthNoneNone
Early Termination FeeNoneNone
CoverageNationwide (5G limited)Nationwide (5G limited)
Special Offers¥20,000 cashback, covers other provider’s termination fees up to ¥22,000Up to ¥37,500 cashback, 24 months discounted to ¥2,970/month
Simultaneous Connections64 Wi-Fi, 2 LAN128 devices

Detailed Comparisons:

  1. Speed:
    • Docomo Home 5G offers higher maximum speeds for both 5G and 4G connections compared to SoftBank Air. In practical use, Docomo’s average download speed is significantly faster (243.8 Mbps vs. 104.0 Mbps)​ (ITX Home Router)​​ (IEAgent)​.
  2. Cost:
    • Monthly Price: Docomo Home 5G is slightly cheaper at ¥4,950 compared to SoftBank Air at ¥5,368. However, SoftBank Air offers an initial 24-month discount making it ¥2,970 per month during this period​ (ITX Home Router)​​ (IEAgent)​.
    • Device Cost: Both plans effectively offer the device for free through various promotions.
  3. Data Usage and Limits:
    • Both plans offer unlimited data, but SoftBank Air may impose speed restrictions during peak times or in heavily congested areas​ (IEAgent)​​ (ネット回線マニア)​.
  4. Coverage and Stability:
    • Coverage: Both services cover most of Japan, but the availability of 5G is still expanding.
    • Stability: Docomo Home 5G benefits from using the “platinum band” for 4G, providing better stability, especially indoors or in rural areas​ (ネット回線マニア)​.
  5. Special Offers and Discounts:
    • Docomo Home 5G: Offers up to ¥20,000 cashback and covers termination fees up to ¥22,000 when switching from another provider.
    • SoftBank Air: Offers a higher cashback of up to ¥37,500 and discounts the monthly fee for the first 24 months.
  6. Simultaneous Connections:
    • SoftBank Air allows for more devices to be connected simultaneously (128 devices) compared to Docomo Home 5G (66 devices)​ (IEAgent)​.

Conclusion:

  • Docomo Home 5G is generally recommended for higher speed and stability, particularly if you need consistent performance.
  • SoftBank Air might be more appealing for those looking for significant initial savings and who do not require the highest possible speeds.
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rakesg
rakesg
17 days ago

very good blog with tabular representation to know detail about japan wifi infrastructure

jerry
jerry
17 days ago

I will save this tutorial because I am planning to go to Japan and I think I will need this information. Thanks for this information friend.

Maruti
Maruti
17 days ago

This guide is incredibly detailed and up-to-date! It’s really helpful for anyone moving to Japan or just looking to switch their ISP. Thanks for the comprehensive overview!

Dharmendra kumar
Dharmendra kumar
17 days ago

This section is vital as it explores future trends like 5G expansion and IoT integration in Japan. It helps readers anticipate changes in technology and service expectations, guiding them to make informed decisions aligned with upcoming advancements. This foresight is crucial for leveraging new opportunities in a digital-driven market.

Anup Rajak
Anup Rajak
17 days ago

I read this post your post so nice and very informative post thanks for sharing this post

abhishek
abhishek
17 days ago

Great job on this guide! I appreciate the comparison between different providers. It’s exactly what I needed to make an informed decision about my internet service.

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