International roaming in Japan

rodney-1887

    I am currently in Japan. I have T-MOBILE plan to be able to text and message. But I don't get any signals. The only way to communicate is when I am on WI-FI. How when I am out of hotel I cannot communicate. I was adive to roam using Docomo or Softbank; T-MOBILE roaming partners. I attempted to search for them but have not found them. Request assistance.

      All replies

      • magentatechie

        Re: International roaming in Japan

        Hey there! I'm so sorry to hear of your troubles!  What kind of phone are you using?  Is it T-Mobile branded?

        • rodney-1887

          Re: International roaming in Japan

          I have a Android, Galaxy J3 Prime which I purchased from T-MOBILE.

          • rodney-1887

            Re: International roaming in Japan

            I just hot the phone about a month ago. The first question I asked will the phone work international. I was informed yes that is why I got it. Hopefully I will be able to upgrade with out too much cost. But nothing is never free. Thanks for your assistance.

              • smplyunprdctble

                Re: International roaming in Japan

                "work international" -- yeah, it will work internationally in most places.  Japan and a couple other countries have weird bands they use that aren't on most US phones.  You'd have no issues in most of Europe and South America and that, but Japan is one of the weird ones.

                 

                I'd like to hope this would have been avoided if you had asked "Will the phone work in Japan", but I don't think the average salesperson in any cell provider would know that it wouldn't without research.

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • rodney-1887

                    Re: International roaming in Japan

                    I travel to Japan about twice a year. This phone was supposed to help me with communication issues but it did not. I will go back to store where I purchased the phone. Hopefully I can upgrade without to much problem. But I am not too hopeful.

                      • magentatechie

                        Re: International roaming in Japan

                        Ugh, I'm so sorry for your troubles! You can check the eligibility of a potential device here.  Simply type Japan in the search box and scroll all the way down to Will my Device Work.  Good luck to you!

                        • drnewcomb2

                          Re: International roaming in Japan

                          When you shop for a phone to use in Japan, S. Korea or Singapore, you want to be sure it has UMTS band 1 as a minimum. Your current phone is quad-band GSM, which minimally qualifies it for "international roaming" in about 95% of countries, altho data will be very slow. Unfortunately, there's not a quick solution I can recommend to fix the problem while you are in Japan. The Japanese cellular market more tightly controlled by the government and carriers than the US market and all phones are sold locked to local carriers and its very difficult for a non-resident to buy one.

                    • patelsa0327

                      Re: International roaming in Japan

                      I have an iPhone 6s.

                       

                      I can SMS (green texts) from Japan. I can get on the Softbank and Docomo networks and make calls, but the data plan never works in Japan. It works in Malaysia, Singapore & Thailand. Doesn’t work in Indonesi. Vietnam is put as it’s not advertised.

                       

                      i will try it on Australia in the next couple of weeks.

                       

                      i don’t believe it’s the phone, as it works with a local SIM in Japan.

                      • landonloco

                        Re: International roaming in Japan

                        But does the network type appear besides the bars, LTE, 4G, 3G or 2G. It's odd that your iPhone 6s doesn't work since it's supports CDMA and GSM

                        • frankt90

                          Re: International roaming in Japan

                          I was just in Japan for 12 days and T Mobile service (I purchased the Int'l package) did not work for 1 single day !

                          I communicated with Support Desk every day for at least 1 hour (some days 2 hrs), not one single day did my phone work. Support desk is badly managed as each time I communicated with desk the person I spoke with had NO idea of previous conversations nor what had been already suggested by their previous colleagues (and did not work). Thus each day I had to restate ad nauseum the  previous (day(s) conversations only to be then passed on to another person and have to repeat myself all over again. Abyssmal performance..

                          Completely ruined my business trip, it was embarrassing, andf caused me untold stress on what should have been a successful and enjoyable trip.

                          It was a nightmare !   

                          I have been a T Mobile customer for 15 years.

                          My phone is an LG K20 PLUS, and I spoke with 2 T Mobile reps BEFORE I went to Japan to ensure connectivity and they both assured me that it would be available. Disaster.

                          Please tell me why I should continue to be a customer.

                          Thanks.

                            • drnewcomb2

                              Re: International roaming in Japan

                              From all the information I can find, it appears that the LG K20 Plus is not compatible with roaming in Japan.

                              According to GSMarena.com the K20 Plus has the following bands:

                              GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

                              HSDPA 850 / 1700(AWS) / 1900

                              LTE band 2(1900), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 12(700)

                              Which is exactly the same as what's found on T-Mobile's support site.

                              None of these bands are used in Japan.

                              Why you were told it would work and why international roaming support didn't spot this is beyond me.

                                • frankt90

                                  Re: International roaming in Japan

                                  drnewcomb2 _ Thank you for your feedback. I think my main point is that I was told TWICXE before I went to japan that ity would work by T Mobile Support.

                                  Once in Japan and for the 8 next recurring days....T Mobile Support kept me on messgaing / phone for over an hour shuffling between colleagues...with no knowledge transfer of what was already discussed, and possible solutions that had not worked. Each day was a new day for T Mobile Support.

                                  That is just bad management. It cost me a lot of $$ and time, and I must consider my options from here. Totally unprofessional and ridden with liability.

                                    • drnewcomb2

                                      Re: International roaming in Japan

                                      I can't fault your appraisal of the situation. Customer Support should have known, particularly since T-Mobile's international roaming page says this phone is not compatible with roaming in Japan.  (However, it also claims that a lot of phones which are compatible are not.)  The only thing I can offer in defense of this sort of incompetence is that a friend once called Verizon to make sure his phone would work when he got to Peru and was assured it would. Of course, when he got there it was a brick. So, it does happen with all carriers. However, why your "Team of Experts" didn't twig to what a rank amateur (me) sorted in under a minute is beyond me.

                                       

                                      BTW, the first thing they should have done is to check the specs on the phone you were using. The 2nd was to ask you to do a manual scan for carriers to see if you could pick up any cellular signals. My bet would be that you couldn't. If you could, my whole theory goes out the window.

                                       

                                      Did you call international roaming support at +1-505-998-3793 or did you just dial 611? Assumed via WiFi Calling.

                                        • frankt90

                                          Re: International roaming in Japan

                                          drnewcomb2 - Thanks for your feedback. Indeed I believe that it was Day 3 (the 3rd time I contacted T Mobile Support at the Int'l Roaming # 1-505) that the engineer (who I had insisted upon talking to an engineer after having been on call for an hour with Rep and Rep Mgr) ...asked me what Phone I was using and I told him. He had me switch the Network Mode, and told me to re_boot the Phone which I did. Of course nothing worked.

                                          By the 5th Day (about 6 thus far spent with Support), I asked the Support Rep to connect me with someone in Tokyo so that they could look at my phone and tell me what was wrong. I received a very long answer, with Phone reception breaking up, by a person who English was not their 1st language. The answer of course that there was no one in Tokyo that could help.

                                          Yes , my hotel(s) had WiFI and I used that within the confines of the hotel. But try and navigate Tokyo or other major Japanese city without the benefit of Google Maps and w/o phone service, in order to meet Buisness contacts and a restaurant or even their offices. Nightmare !!

                                           

                                          Now , with your and others help, I understand why I did not have T Mobile service in Japan. BUT...I do not have time to spend searching Internet to see if my T Mobile provided phone and phone service tells me TWICE that I will have connectivity, and I don't on arrival. 8 hours or so interacting with Support was frustrating and caused great anxiety. Sure I could bought a local SIM card, but all contacts in Japan had my T Mobile number. To contact them and tell them to call SIM is unprofessional. I still have a hard tome fathoming the failure, from a management perspective, of T Mobile.

                                          This is a huge liability issue.  

                                            • drnewcomb2

                                              Re: International roaming in Japan

                                              Actually, in my experience, buying prepaid service in Japan can be almost impossible for a Gaijin (without Japanese residency papers). The only exception is if you had access to a the sales agents on a US military base. If your K20 Plus is not compatible with Japanese bands (as I suspect), having a local SIM would not have helped.  This is what makes your situation particularly vexing. You would have had to rent a phone at the airport on arrival. With the general adequacy of international roaming these days, I don't even know if that's still an option.

                                               

                                              I could still be wrong about the K20 and the problem could be something deep and mysterious. But even LG's website lists only T-Mobile's US 3G and LTE bands and Japan doesn't use 2G GSM.