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3 Low-Cost Mobile Phone Plans by Japan's Major Carriers in Comparison

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Ahamo (docomo), LINEMO (SoftBank), and povo 2.0 (au) are low-cost monthly mobile phone plans managed by major Japanese carriers. This article will compare the features of these three plans that offer high-quality services at a low price.

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Low-Cost Mobile Phone Plans by 3 Major Japanese Carriers

Compared to other countries, Japanese mobile phone bills are said to be expensive. However, the cost seems to be decreasing with low-cost smartphones gaining popularity and government efforts to spur price competition in the market.

In September 2021, three major carriers announced their low-cost monthly mobile phone plans. The following plans by the mobile carriers can also be applied for online: ahamo by docomo, LINEMO by SoftBank, and povo by au.

Since they are managed by major telecom companies, the internet speed is fast and can handle 5G mobile communications services. These plans also offer reliability and peace of mind for users. Overseas visitors staying in Japan for over three months can apply for these low-cost plans by presenting their ID and residence card.

Since the plans are different, this article will present each in detail. If you're reviewing your mobile plan or considering switching to another company, you may find the information here helpful. Read on to find a plan that fits your lifestyle and budget!

Comparison of Mobile Phone Plans

All plans cost below 3,000 yen per month, and are simple and easy to understand.

    Plan Name Fee Data Useage Domestic Phone Calls
  • 2,728 yen 20 GB 22 yen/30 seconds
  • ahamo
  • 2,970 yen 20 GB 22 yen/30 seconds
  • povo 2.0
  • Basically 0 yen Determined according to data options called "toppings" 22 yen/30 seconds

*Please note that the fees listed above do not include initial costs.


Comparing 3 Low-Cost Mobile Phone Plans by Major Carriers: docomo, SoftBank, and au!

Picture courtesy of PR TIMES
LINEMO is managed by SoftBank, and applications can be easily completed online. Users can choose either a 3 GB or 20 GB plan. There are also optional services that are simple and easy to understand.

Model Plan
20 GB 2,728 yen/month
Domestic Phone Calls 22 yen/30 seconds

This is an ideal service for LINE users since they can use the app without affecting their data usage. LINEMO occasionally offers special campaigns, so be sure to take a look if you're considering switching to this service.

Official Website


Picture courtesy of ahamo
Ahamo is a new low-cost plan by docomo. There used to be only one billing plan of 20 GB/month for 2,970 yen (including tax). This new plan is called ahamo omori, which offers high-speed data communication of 100 GB/month starting June 9, 2022.

Model Plan
20 GB 2,970 yen/month
Domestic Phone Calls The first 5 minutes are free. Afterwards, it will cost 22 yen/30 seconds.

For a fee of 3,300 yen, users can submit their ahamo applications at docomo shops across Japan. Those worried about signing up online should take advantage of this system.

Official Website

povo 2.0

Comparing 3 Low-Cost Mobile Phone Plans by Major Carriers: docomo, SoftBank, and au!

Picture courtesy of PR TIMES
Povo by au is a unique plan that only offers online applications. The basic fee is 0 yen, and the data usage is determined by a system called toppings.

Model Plan
Basic Charge 0 yen/month
Domestic Phone Calls 22 yen/30 seconds

This flexible mobile phone plan is recommended for users whose data usage changes drastically by the month.

Official Website

Phone Plans for Users of All Ages!

What do you think of the plans introduced above? These are recommended for those hoping to reduce their mobile phone bills and international students.

The carrier you ultimately choose will depend on your specific requirements. Check the plan comparisons in this article and apply this knowledge in your selection process!

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喜歡旅遊、攝影和琢磨在文字裡。 日本是除了台灣以外待得最久的地方,最近開始迷上東野圭吾,最喜歡的日劇是《別讓我走》,永遠停不下旅行和思考。

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