See Akihabara FAQ, Tokyo Travel & Sightseeing, & RedHat 9 QuickStart! URL of this page: www.ispJapan.org
Japan and Korea offer fast, low-cost Optic-Fiber wired broadband connections. According to a 2008 ITIF survey, (unmetered, wired) broadband in Japan offered both high download speeds (64Mbps) and low cost; Korean broadband usage was proportionally much higher, but speeds were slightly slower (50Mbps) and costs higher. Finland, France and Sweden came next, with speeds of 17-22Mbps. Germany, Canada, and US broadband speeds were 5-8Mbps (with US and Canadian pricing about 20 times that of Japan). In Australia and the UK, speeds were around 1.7-2.6Mbps.
Japan has the 2nd largest wireless & wired broadband markets in the OECD. The world's largest wireless broadband markets in OECD countries in 2010 were the US (136.6M, 31% of OECD total), Japan (22%) and Korea (11%); and the largest wired broadband markets were the US (28%), Japan (12%), Germany (9%), France (7%) and the UK (6%). Outside the OECD, however, the Chinese market is huge and fast-growing: about 747M mobile users (just over 50% of its population)—including 15M 3G users—in 2009, and 3G usage is quickly catching up with more-developed countries. The Indian market is also huge and growing rapidly.
Providers here lease “public” network capacity. VoIP fixed phones are widespread. In both Japan and Korea, the proportion of optical-fiber wired-broadband connections is very high, and the public phone company (formerly semi-governmental, now privatized) is required to both provide rural service and lease network capacity to private Internet providers. In Japan, typically this “NTT Flets” backbone connects the provider to the wired-broadband subscriber’s local telephone office. Most Japanese Internet providers offer optional wired-broadband VoIP Internet phone service and optional 050- phone numbers; there were over 20 million VoIP subscribers in 2009. VoIP provides toll-free outbound calls within Japan, and a 050- number (to supplement the regular area-code number) permits toll-free inbound calls within Japan. Some mobile phone operators will also be offering VoIP and 050- numbers. VoIP local call pricing is relatively standardized, but overseas call pricing is provider-specific.
What does it cost for ADSL, FTTH, VoIP phone, & wireless? Signup specials (which may require an 8-mo. minimum), can provide discounts equiv’t to 3-4 mo. free ADSL, or over 8 mo. free FTTH (3 mo. NTT fee & 1-yr. provider fee). You need to apply for both backbone (NTT Flets or KDDI AU) and provider service via the provider to get these discounts. Including provider fees, 39M ADSL costs from ¥3,860~/mo. (¥2,600~/mo. if you rent an NTT phone line separately for about ¥2,000/mo.), 50M ADSL is ˜ ¥500/mo. extra, 8M ADSL is ˜ ¥500/mo. less. For FTTH (optical fiber) in a modern ferro-concrete condo, shared 100M NTT Flets costs ¥3,990-4,300 (less than ADSL!) and KDDI AU 1G ¥5,250. If you’re in an apartment or standalone house, FTTH can cost ¥5,460~ with KDDI AU 1G or ¥6,300-6,700 for NTT. With ADSL or FTTH, you can get toll-free 050- VoIP phone bundled essentially free, though you’ll have to pay usage charges. WiMAX (max. 40M down, 10M up) (from KDDI AU subsidiary UQ) is widely available around major cities. WiMAX is built into many high-end PCs, WiMAX USB modems can be rented from providers for about ¥600/mo. or purchased for about ¥12,000, and KDDI AU has just announced smartphones with built-in WiMAX (the WiMAX option will be ¥525/mo.) Unlimited WiMAX broadband can cost about ¥3,880~/mo. (1-yr. contract, setup fee is ¥2,835), ¥4,480~/mo. (monthly contract, setup fee is ¥2,100), or ¥600/day. There is also a monthly contract (setup fee is ¥2,835) that ramps from ¥380 to ¥4,980~/mo. max. "MIFI" Mobile WiFi Hotspots, on WiMAX or various 3G networks like HSDPA CDMA, rent for about ¥4,000~/mo. (one-year contract) or sell for about ¥19,000. NTT Docomo's "Xi" LTE 4G service is currently available only in central Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. Public WiFi hotspots can cost from ¥500/day. Manga & Internet cafes typically cost about ¥200 for 30m, ¥400 per hour, ¥1,500 overnight (prices vary with location), and have free soft drinks/coffee machines; some have showers. Some Willcom PHS phones can be connected to a PC by USB cable and used as wireless modems (up to 256kbps); PHS service costs about ¥2,800~/mo. plus usage, but you'll have to pay for the phone (some are nearly free on a 2-yr. contract) and pay a ¥2,000 setup fee.
Phone dialup — provider fee from ¥200-300/month plus ¥5 per minute (plus phone usage). ¥3,700 for a 15-hr. Internet access package that includes phone usage. Analog phone line rental is about ¥2,000 per month plus usage (from about ¥10 per 3 minutes).
ISDN ( this allows simultaneous use of 2 channels — e.g. phone plus fax, or phone plus Internet dial-up ) is about ¥2,800 a month ( not including ISDN adapter rental or purchase ). ISDN is available virtually everywhere, even in rural areas, and 128kbps ISDN Internet is over twice as fast as analog dialup. NTT FLETS ISDN is always-on Internet — from about ¥3,000 a month (NTT) plus Internet provider charge from about ¥500 a month for unlimited usage. (FLETS setup fees are largely waived if you apply via your provider).
Mobile phone/wireless dialup ranges from about ¥900 a month (fixed) provider fee, plus dialup wireless data usage fees (Wilcomm Air Edge PHS is the cheapest) from about ¥1,000 plus about ¥10/minute or typically ¥4,000-¥10,000 for various large-user discount packages.
Wireless service: eMobile, eAccess, and SoftBank are teaming up with providers like BigLobe and Nifty to provide WiMax (mobile, fixed) 3.6Mbps wireless access (about ¥5,000 per month for unlimited use) from Dec. 2007.
WiFi Hot Spots range from free to typically ¥300 a month plus ¥8/min., or ¥1,700 per month unlimited. Some providers offer iPass — for secure WiFi or wireless-dialup Internet connection at about ¥8/min. in Japan, and for global roaming at ¥40/min.
Internet Manga cafes range from about ¥200 for first 30min., unlimited coffee & tea for about ¥100 extra or free with packages, e.g. from about ¥1,000 per 3 hrs. between 3am & 9pm, and from about ¥1,000 for overnight (12pm-5am).
CATV Internet: similar speed to ADSL; doesn’t offer all the services that big Internet providers do.
ADSL ranges from about ¥2,700 (1 Mbps) or ¥4,000 min. per month (requires analog phone line, billed separately). Usually IP phone bundle costs no extra. ADSL typically provides up to 4-8Mbps — usually there is no point applying for speeds faster than 8Mbps or 12Mbps — and usually requires that you be within about 3,500m to 5,000m from the nearest phone exchange. (Long-) Reach ADSL can provide 1-2Mbps out to 8,000m. or more. However, few carriers offer this service, and then only if they anticipate picking up a number of subscribers by doing so. NTT FLETS ADSL allows you to connect to two providers simultaneously if you wish. (ADSL setup fees are usually waived if you apply via your provider). (>14M ADSL users in Japan).
FTTH (Optical Fiber To The Home) is provided to large condos in major cities. A 1Gbps fiber typically connects to VDSL (very high speed ADSL), providing 100Mbps service to up to 8 or 16 users from about ¥4,500 a month. Non-shared connections (to houses or wooden apartments) start from about ¥7,000 a month. NTT B FLETS FTTH allows you to connect to two providers simultaneously if you wish. (FTTH setup fees are usually waived if you apply via your provider). (There are just under 8M FTTH users in Japan).
IP phone (VoIP): It usually costs no extra to get IP phone with ADSL or FTTH, except that an analog phone line is also required “for 110 emergency calls and the like” — however NTT's “Hikari phone” option for B FLETS (at ¥1,500 extra, including up to about ¥480 (3 hrs) of domestic calls) doesn't require an analog phone line. IP phones provide toll-free calls within Japan plus a toll-free 050- number for inbound calls from within Japan. Toll-free local call rates are much lower than long-distance rates, particularly for mobile phones. There are only a few VoIP carriers within Japan, and their rates are similar (except for calls to mobile phones) — but providers can use different carriers for overseas VoIP calls, and rates vary widely. eMobile (see Wireless Service above) will offer wireless VoIP phone.
Major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer a variety of free or optional extras — e.g. a large mailbox, spam catching, web mail, global roaming. The "big four" are Yahoo! BB, Biglobe, OCN & @Nifty. There are a few providers with English support — including Asahi-Net, GOL, SpinNet, Inter.net (formerly TWICS) & AT&T — but once you're connected, English support may not be a major issue.
This "Internet Provider, Broadband and Mobile Access, and VoIP (Internet Phone) in Japan" FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions list) covers ADSL, FTTH Optical fiber, Mobile and CATV-Cable Internet, ISDN especially ISPs with services like fixed-price unlimited 24-hr. access deals, & support for NTT's fixed-price 24-hr. unlimited ISDN & ADSL/fiber/cable/mobile access. The ISP list and English-language resources information is at the end of this FAQ.
What's new in this site. You can now check (based on your phone number) for Yahoo-BB or NTT-E ADSL service in your area. I've added a search box at the bottom of the page, the latest info. on ADSL rollout & FTTH, Internet cafes, PHS & mobile phone access, and I've spun ISDN off into a separate page, since it's rapidly becoming irrelevant; but this FAQ is still a work in progress a volunteer effort which can't be guaranteed to be complete & up to date your comments, suggestions, and criticisms are welcome (e-mail me). Or join my ISP-J FAQ Newsletter.Work still to be done: Add a list of English-language provider-page URLs, and add provider phone/fax nos. Since web sites are mostly in Japanese, color code these non-English URL links (say *red* for Japanese sites). Add a note on Internet security (check) sites/software, firewalls. Add a note on anti-virus software (free, and best commercial). Mention John De Hoog's Japanese e-mail program review site. List free Internet resources webmail, mailing list, scheduler/file storage and freeware/shareware sites. (At present, URLs are just listed without explanation at end of FAQ).
Do all ISDN TAs/ADSL modems work with PCs and Macs? Old PC and Macs? FLet's ISDN? For certain DSL modems/ISDN TAs there may not be USB driver support for Macs or Win2000, etc.
Is English software available for my ISDN TA or ADSL/Cable Modem or Router? Many routers can be configured from a web browser; you can use the free MS Global IME to display Japanese on English Win98/ME/NT/Win2000; English Mac users get Japanese Language Kit (optional install) with Mac OS9. LinkSys Routers are available with English firmware. See ADSL section for ADSL PPPoE requirements.
Which ISPs (Internet Service Providers) are best known (e.g. for English support) in Japan? Asahi-Net provides English support, has a big network of local Access Points (APs), provides up-to-date usage statistics for each access point, has a web mail option, and there's no signup fee. Tel Co ODN is another big provider with AP usage stats., as is NEC Biglobe (no English yet). AOL (America On Line, Tel. (03) 5331-7400) is a popular BBS, offers 100 hrs. free trial, and has (Yen) ¥300 for 1 hr. and ¥1,980 unlimited plans. Compuserve (now owned by AOL) also has a large if slow worldwide network. Nifty(serve), CompuServe's partner in Japan, has long been the largest BBS service, with a big network of local access points, and offers 3 mo. free trial, but seems to have abandoned English support. AT&T Global (the former IBM.net) offers access points worldwide. AT&T WorldNet (JENS SpinNet in Japan) claims good English support, offers discount overseas phone calls, and includes AT&T's US domestic Internet network. GOL and TWICS, pioneers in English-language support in Japan, have recently cut their fees to remain competitive. Recommendations? Maybe NTT-East Plala, Alpha, or Asahi-Net (cheap, also F Let's ISDN); Asahi-Net has English support; BigLobe (comprehensive); for mobile: BigLobe, Asahi-Net, Nifty, or Plala; for ADSL: Yahoo BB (cheap, fast (8 Mbps), started Sept. 2001 in a few major cities and is now 2nd after NTT FLets ADSL); Asahi-Net & BigLobe for eAccess options (including 8 Mbps & BigLobe static-IP); for multi-provider support with F Let's ADSL, providers NTT-East Plala, SANNET or Alpha or Asahi-Net are cheapest. AT&T Global and JENS SpinNet (AT&T WorldNet) offer PPP dialup software for overseas roaming. Usen 100 Mbps FTTH is expanding rapidly.
Which services should one look for, from a prospective ISP? English support (if you need it). Local access points (and browser "web mail" access, or "roaming:" international access points, as required, and a large mailbox if you get a lot of mail and take holidays in places with no Internet access: providers like Asahi-Net, BigLobe and Nifty offer large mailboxes and support overseas roaming). Access Point (AP) usage statistics are a useful guide for dial-up users but if there's no sign-up fee and a monthly rather than yearly contract, or a free trial period, then you can change ISPs if local APs are often busy. Most ISPs offer 64K ISDN at no extra cost. Most support NTT's unlimited 24-hour "F Let's ISDN" ISDN service. Many providers allow you to use a notebook computer with mobile phone/wireless modem to access your mail. (Many ISPs support 64K PIAFS (PHS mobile phone) data access. There are few local access points though DDI has single toll-free national PHS access numbers (DAL) for each provider. 64K PHS costs much less than 9.8K iMode or other cellular service, but phone-line modem access is much cheaper again). Some providers offer redirection of mail to mobile phones, and some (like BigLobe, Nifty) even have iMode web portals. KDDI-affiliated mobile phone operator AU has just announced "CDMA 1X WIN" wireless access of 2.4Mbps down and 144Kbps up, starting from the end of Nov. 2003. Major providers support ADSL (but you may have to pay extra if you want mobile dial-up as well). Some providers offer added-value services like IP phone (BigLobe (DialPad) & Plala), and Shockwave greeting cards.
How much will it cost? Are there NTT discounts?
There are *free* Yahoo cafes in Hibiya (opp. Library in Hibiya park), and in Narita & Haneda airports. The Marunouchi cafe is very nice. Manga Land has several branches in Tokyo (such as Ueno No. 2 in Okachimachi) which charge ¥400/hr. (or ¥1,500 overnight, from midnight to 7 am) for Internet access plus unlimited hot or cold drinks. The former DDI (now Willcom) "Feel H" color-screen DDI PHS phones like the Kyocera PS-C2 (¥980), Sanyo RZ-J700, or Panasonic KX-HV210 (¥4,800) can operate over 850 hrs. between charges, cost from ¥2,700/mo. (you get 15% off this for one-year contract) plus ¥10/min. usage, and have built-in e-mail functions (free DDI account) or can be used with a cable (with built-in modem) and (USB-interface) PC or Mac for 64 kbps web surfing. You can also buy 64kbps wireless modem cards. DDI also offers single access numbers (for each provider) that work anywhere in Japan. There's free software to manage your phonebook on a PC. The Panasonic KX-HV210 contained a basic scheduler, could sync. with MS Outlook and some old Palm PDAs, and took a 64 MB SD card for e-mail, photos and 4 hours of voice recording. Sanyo's RZ-J700 also had a scheduler, and could be switched between Japanese and English operation screens. DDI offers discounts like Super Pack M or L for big phone users, and special discount packs for mobile dial-up users. PHS phones have low transmit power, so the batteries tend to last longer and the monthly charges are much lower than mobiles like KDDI AU or NTT DoCoMo. AU started 144 kbps service March 26; you can use any of the current model phones like the Casio A5401CA (with 1.24 Megapixel camera) at ¥19,800 or Sony A5402S at ¥17,800 (both these support GPS maps and Java), the Sony A1301S at ¥6,100 (both Sony models have clip-on color "skins" to change their appearance). Virtually all of these models have 310K pixel cameras (except the 1.24M pixel Casio); all can send and receive movie clips and photos, as well as download popular tunes as ringing tones. One AU mobile, the ¥13,800 Sanyo C1303SA, can be used in US/Hawaii, Canada, HK/China, Korea & Australia/NZ. Casio's inexpensive MySync Suite scheduler & phonebook management software works with most AU phone models, regardless of maker (free trial copy on web site and on CD with phone). (NTT DoCoMo ("anywhere") iMode is *much* more popular, but slower & more expensive).
TelCos & larger providers (e.g. ODN, BigLobe) don't require payment by credit card; you can auto-pay from a PO or bank account. Many ISPs offer unlimited dial-up usage for ¥1-2,000/mo. ODN charges ¥1,300/mo. for unlimited 24-hr. 0088 access and some (e.g. AOL, ODN, BigLobe, Asahi-net) let you have multiple (family) e-mail addresses sharing one account. However unless you use cable (TV) Internet, ADSL, or F Let's ISDN you must pay usage-based NTT access charges in addition. Three dial-up options for small users are TelCo. NTT-East Plala's "Komi Zero" "Tel.-charge-only" plan is ¥200/mo. plus ¥10/3 min. (¥10 for 4 min. between 11 pm & 8 am), Asahi Net *NTT Tel. access charge included* K plans (K5 offers 5 hrs. for ¥850/mo. and K8 offers 8 hrs. for ¥1,400/mo., both plus ¥10/min. if you go over the limit) but small users who don't mind watching ads. may want to check out the combination of free or nearly-free providers with NTT iPlan & TimePlus discounts (Japanese): for calls to one local no., ISDN iPlan 1200 costs ¥1,200/mo. and gives up to ¥3,000 usage, saving money for up to about 23 hrs. usage; there's Time Plus for local calls (for ¥350/mo., you get 5-minute rather than 3-min. units for ¥10, 7-min. rather than 5-min. units during off-peak hours), Telehodai (for ¥2,400/mo., unlimited calls to two local nos., 11 pm to 8 am) & Area Plus (expanded local calling area). Caution: These discounts don't apply to some access points. Note that major providers like AOL, Nifty and BigLobe often offer special signup/switch-provider deals like 3 mo. free or 6 mo. at half price, ADSL providers are waiving all or part of (ADSL) startup fees, etc.
Fixed-price unlimited-use bundles. If you use the Internet for over 42 hrs./month, or want a fast connection, try for ADSL, FTTH Optical Fiber, or CATV Cable* (which cost from ¥2,880/mo.), or the slower F Let's ISDN at ¥2,900/mo. (plus the extra cost of an ISDN line) plus provider charge. It's reported that even if your Internet usage averages only 30 min./day, ADSL can work out cheaper than ISDN or analog. See my recommendations above, NTT's F Let's portal (just below), and the ADSL provider list below for more details & service areas (price starts at ¥2,880/mo.)
FTTH & Wireless vs. Cable. NTT has started "B FLet's" 100 Mbps FTTH (Fiber To The Home) in central Tokyo and Osaka, in conjunction with providers Sannet, NTT-East Plala, Asahi-Net, Sony So-net & NEC BigLobe the price is from ¥4,000/mo. or so for shared 10Mbps service in a condo./apartment house; faster services like the new "family-type" 100Mbps and non-shared "basic" services are available; there are details at the F Let's (ISDN/ADSL/FTTH) portals of NTT-East ( Tel. no. ) & NTT-West ( Tel. no. ). Both NTT & Usen (at ¥6,100/mo.) went to 100 Mbps in central Tokyo starting Apr. & July 2000 and Usen is now actively expanding in Kansai and other areas outside Tokyo. K-Opti is a new Kansai FTTH provider offering cheap 64K PHS wireless as well. (*Note that CATV-Cable & the cheaper optical fiber deals require a shared connection to the provider, whereas ADSL gives you a dedicated line better for security and throughput. Start-up costs for CATV-Cable & optical fiber can be quite high, and some Cable providers do not provide an e-mail mailbox.) Other local FTTH & wireless alternatives are summarized below. More on B Flets FTTH.
There's always F Let's ISDN if you can't get ADSL, FTTH Optical fiber or CATV Cable in your area...
Impress "Internet" mag. has ISP info. Another ISP list.
English-language resources include the KTO Japan file list of ISPs with English-language support, [Asahi-Net, JENS SpinNet (AT&T WorldNet), GOL & ThreeWeb sites are useful English-language resources], the TPC Internet/ISDN web forums/mailing lists, Windows Networking, SOHO Networking, More Networks, DSL/Cable, e-mail software, the Nihongo computing mailing list, Pat Willener's English Windows on Japanese PC, also Japanese on English Windows info, Multiboot FAQ | Another; also Japan.Inc (web site & magazine). Free providers worldwide. Richard Keirstead's old ISP FAQ. The great little Rough Guide to the Internet 2003, by Angus Kennedy also see publisher's web site.
Choosing an ISP (above).
Some ISPs with low, fixed (*not* usage-based, except as noted) charges are listed here:
Livedoor. A "free" ISP which once claimed a million "subscribers" has stopped offering Internet access.
FreeJapan. This free ISP (paid for by Ads) has stopped offering Internet access.
Excite Freelane. Service ended Dec. 2001. Now redirects to BB-Excite which offers fixed IP for ¥2,500-3,000/mo.
ZOOT. ¥1,200/mo. B-Flets with Multiple Static IPs from ¥2,000/mo., ¥3,400 with own domain.
ZERO. No longer offering free dial up 8am-8pm. FLets ADSL. 8M ¥1,480/mo. FLets ISDN ¥900/mo. Nationwide.
Yomiuri Free Line. "Free ISP, Tokyo (03) and Osaka (06) access points" service has ended. Now streaming news service.
USEN. 30 hrs. free dial-up (where USEN440 radio is installed). Has ISDN, also ¥4,800/mo. 100 Mbps optical fiber service started Apr. 2001 in parts of Setagaya, Shibuya, Suginami, Meguro and Ota wards, Tokyo. Area now includes Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo/Mitaka/Komae, Yokohama/Kawasaki, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima, Fukuoka & Kokera.
NTT-East Plala. 0120-48-8912. Tel.-charge-only" plan is ¥200/mo. plus ¥10/3 min. (¥10 for 4 min. between 11 pm and 8 am). F Let's ISDN for ¥200/mo. 2nd cheapest F Let's ADSL ¥3,750/mo. provider.
Alpha-net. ¥980/mo., ¥9,800/yr. No signup fee. ¥300/mo. F Let's ISDN & ¥5,250/mo. F Let's ADSL.
246-Net. ¥10k/yr. Tokyo/Kawasaki/Yokohama (using Tokyu railway optical fiber). F Let's service.
Netpro. Tokyo/Yokohama. 1 wk free trial, 64K ISDN: ¥9k/yr; 128K: ¥18k/yr; also 64K PIAFS. Usage stats.
Parknet. Was ¥18k (10k?)/yr. for 128K ISDN (Tokyo 03 area only) & 64K PIAFS. Now has ASP, PHP & Perl server hosting.
Speed. Now server hosting only. Was ¥1k/mo. for 64K ISDN or 64K PIAFS, ¥3k/mo. for 128K ISDN. No signup fee.
Highway. Now a USEN company. 64K ISDN: ¥1k5/mo., 15k/yr; 128K: ¥2k5/mo., 25k/yr.; ¥2,950/mo. eAccess ADSL. 64K PIAFS. Webmail. F Let's ISDN.
ODN. Now a SoftBank company. 0088 TelCo. Fax.0088-22-8850. (See cost/billing, size comments above). Quite big, has ¥1,300/mo. unlimited (via 0088 no. 10p-5a), otherwise ¥1,950/mo.; also NTT-access-fee-included bundles. No signup fee. "Always" static IP ISDN option.
NTT-ME WakWak. ¥1,700/mo. FLets ISDN ¥700/mo. FLets ADSL ¥800/mo.
DTI. ¥1,000/mo. restricted to 6a-10p., qq¥1,380/mo. FLets ISDN.
ReSET.JP. FLets ISDN ¥1,380/mo. FLet's ADSL ¥1,580/mo. Offers IMAP email.
ALLESNET. ¥1,500/mo., ¥1,700/mo. for F Let's ISDN.
Sannet (Sanyo, Osaka). Tel. 03-5818-8583/06-6994-3526. ¥1,800/mo. No signup fee. FLet's ADSL ¥800/mo. eAccess 8M ADSL ¥2,980/mo.
Panasonic Hi-Ho. ¥1,800/mo. No signup fee. F Let's ISDN. Wide support for PIAFS.
People ( Fuji TV Group ). Service ended in 2004. Was ¥1,800/mo., had wide support for PIAFS & NTT PIAS.
Asahi-Net. Tel. (03) 3569-3522/Fax. -3501/[(06) 6222-9888]. English support. ¥1,950/mo. Free signup. F Let's ISDN even with ¥450/mo. plan. 3rd cheapest F Let's ADSL. Web mail. AP usage stats. Use my ID: PF2K-WLKN as Introducer.
JENS SpinNet (AT&T WorldNet). Tel. (03) 3500-2500/Fax. -2501. ¥2k/mo. FLet's ISDN. Web mail, O/seas APs. AP usage stats. (in Japanese, members only.) Now a SoftBank company.
DION. TelCo. KDD (NEWEB)+DDI (DION) merged, became KDDI, on Oct. 1, 2001. F Let's ISDN or unlimited at ¥1,950/mo. KDDI leases its backbone capacity to many major providers, and started the first 128Kbps (PHS) mobile phone service in autumn 2001. Offers discounts for KDDI AU mobile phone users.
JustNet - acquired by So-net, closed down in 2004. Was ¥1,950/mo. F Let's ISDN. Wide support for PIAFS & NTT PIAS.
NEC BigLobe (Tel. 0120-86-0962), @Nifty (Tel. 0120-81-6042), Sony So-net and GOL have all gone to ¥2k/mo. unlimited. Nifty and BigLobe have 3 mo. free trial/6 mo. @ half price campaigns. BigLobe* & Nifty major portals (BigLobe hosts eBay Japan, both support iMode) also GOL, offer eAccess ADSL bundles from ¥2,980/mo. (BigLobe) *Offers true static IP. BigLobe supports encrypted-password logon. NEC BigLobe used to set up your ISDN NEC TA or ADSL. ZOOT, ODN and DTI offer static IP with FLets ADSL. Sony So-net had an English page.
ThreeWeb. Tel.(03) 5459-3550 / (06) 6536-6731, Fax. -3551 / -6741. English support. ¥2.1k/mo., ¥2k signup.
KCom. KDDI affiliate, cf. DION above. ¥2,500/mo. unlimited, even for business use. Free signup.
ADSL (provider listing). (You need a metallic phone line and ADSL can share an analog phone line and need to be within 2-3 miles of tel. exchange. If you have used ISDN and have never had an analog line, it costs ¥72,000, and you may have to change your Tel. no. to get an analog phone to share the line with ADSL. Note: providers may charge extra if you want mobile access as well as ADSL.) The original "1.5 Mbps down, 512 kbps up" spec. is being overtaken by 8 Mbps choices at similar cost, including Yahoo BB at ¥2,730/mo. (including modem rental) (Yahoo seems to have taken over "cheap & fast" Metallic), Yahoo has a new low-price ADSL competitor Denkosekka (rollout starting Sept. in Gifu, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Sendai and Tokyo) part of the HeiseiDenDen discount phone service, and associated with provider Freecom at about ¥2,000 per month inclusive, eAccess cost from ¥2,830/mo. (partnering with Asahi-Net (¥2,880/mo.), BigLobe (¥2,830/mo.), Nifty (¥2,980/mo.), or Sannet; ACCA (now offering 12 Mbps), or Tokyo Denwa TT Net (8 Mbps from ¥2,980/mo. in Dec. 2001) partnering with eAccess; Yahoo-BB, or NTT FLet's. As well as FLet's and Yahoo-BB, NTT-related ACCA (above) & (KDDI) DION ( above ) are growing fastest outside Tokyo/Osaka/Nagoya. There's also ODN's DSL ( below ) for ¥2,880. Asahi-net and Biglobe have good comparisons of (startup and) running costs for different ADSL partners. Asahi-Net, Sannet, Plala, BigLobe & Nifty also support NTT F Let's ADSL (at ¥2,900/mo. plus provider fee; if like most people you rent phone splitter & F Let's ADSL bridge modem rather than buying, add ¥550/mo. to this; NTT shared line charges for all types of DSL are ¥187/mo.) which offers low startup cost, and you can switch among and use multiple providers. Asahi-Net and BigLobe support 8 Mbps F Let's ADSL, which started in Dec. 2001 in Tokyo (East: area tel.no.) (West), as well as B FLet's FTTH East tel. no. rollout / area / West tel. no. / news; B FLet's "basic" 100 Mbps service is about ¥9,000/mo., NTT-East "New family" 100 Mbps shared is ¥5,800, and mansion (condo) 10 Mbps shared (8+ user) is from ¥3,000 (excl. provider charges). Providers supporting FLet's 8M ADSL and B Flet's (East) include SANNET, Plala (and WakWak), Asahi, BigLobe, OCN, ODN, DION and KCOM. (Asahi-Net seems to be the 3rd cheapest FLet's ADSL provider @ ¥3,780/mo. inclusive (NTT-ME WakWak is ¥3,700/mo., NTT-East Plala & Alpha-Net are ¥3,750/mo.)) There are ¥300 MyLine discounts for FLet's. Note that you need Ethernet network adapter(s) in your PC/Mac(s) and *either* a PPPoE capable router (can connect one or more PCs/Macs) or combined router and F Let's ADSL modem, *or* for a single user (without router) you need to use PPPoE dial-up software: note that free PPPoE software from NTT-East or NTT-West is in Japanese (The NTT-E PPPoE software is apparently based on EnterNet). Other ADSL services such as eAccess offer *either* USB modems *or* Ethernet router modems that plug into a hub. Note that it's reported that at least five different incompatible ADSL systems are in use: ITU-T Annex C (=Japan-only, ISDN-friendly) G992.2 G.lite (up to 1.5 Mbps) by NTT F Let's, eAccess and maybe ODN; Annex C G992.1 G.dmt (up to 8 Mbps) in Metallic's 3 Mbps trial, and by ACCA-Sony/DION; and the Int'l Annex A standard used by Yahoo-BB (up to 6-8 Mbps, but mostly limited to 1.5-3 Mbps effective throughput), and the newer faster services described below. 8 Mbps line throughput falls off more rapidly with distance from telephone exchange: with Yahoo's Annex A ADSL the "crossover" distance can be about 1.7 km, but with Annex C ADSL, the 8 Mbps line throughput is still about twice that of 1.5 Mbps at 2.5 km (a distance at which Yahoo may be very slow). ACCA provides a distance check. Extended-reach ADSL is available from at least one provider, and can give 1 Mbps throughput out to 6 km. Faster ADSL speeds (10-12 Mbps) and service out to 7 km are here: Yahoo-BB is rolling out "A.ex" 12 Mbps at ¥3,370 which includes ¥2.5/min. BBfone; eAccess (partnering with Tokyo Denwa TT Net at ¥2,870, Asahi-net and Sannet at ¥3,080/mo., BigLobe at ¥3,380/mo., or JENS at ¥3,580/mo. all plus ¥500/mo. modem rental) started Centillium eXtreme DSL "ADSL Plus" 12 Mbps service in October, and NTT is calling this "FLets ADSL More" and offering it for ¥3,200/mo. plus ¥550/mo. modem rental (plus provider charge, from about ¥500/mo. for BB.Excite, ¥700/mo. for Asahi-Net or ¥850/mo. for Plala) started in Tokyo and Osaka from December 2002. It appears that future modems and possibly router-modems may support two or more of these standards. Various FTTH & wireless alternative providers are summarized above.
Service area for F Let's ADSL NTT-East present & future ( Tel. no. ) (expanded from Mar. thru' May 2001 to cover greater Tokyo, Yokohama/Kawasaki/Fujisawa, Chiba/Urayasu, Urawa/Omiya/Tokorozawa, followed in May 2001 or later by Machida, Sagamihara/Yamato/Zama, Kamakura, Narashino/Sakura/Kashiwa), NTT-West present & future (expanded from Feb. thru' April 2001 to cover greater Osaka, and from Mar. thru' May 2001 to Kobe, Kyoto, Nagoya, Shizuoka/Hamamatsu, Hiroshima, Fukuoka), Tokyo Metallic, and eAccess (rollout schedules follow).
eAccess (English). Tel. 0120-275-437. DSL 1.5Mbps down (8Mbps in Dec. 2001), 512kbps up; from ¥2,830/mo. for BigLobe* / Asahi-Net / Panasonic Hi-Ho / AOL Japan or @Nifty bundles. GOL is ¥6,300. Service area | (English) includes Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Mitaka, Chofu, Kawasaki, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe. Said to be planning Hokkaido, Sendai, Ibaragi, Gunma, Shizuoka, Okayama, Hiroshima, Fukuoka. Startup is about ¥21,600+. *True static IP is +¥3,500/mo.
Tokyo Denwa TT Net. Offering 8 Mbps ADSL for ¥2,980/mo. in conjunction with eAccess from Dec. 2001 in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama. Area
ACCA. DSL in conjunction with Sony (8 Mbps ¥3,280/mo. & 1.5 Mbps ¥2980); Asahi-Net 1.5 Mbps ¥4,350/mo.; BigLobe, Nifty & OCN from ¥3,980/mo. Covers wide geographical area. Tel. no. search. Startup is about ¥24,000+
DION. Tel. 0077-20227. TelCo. KDD (NEWEB)+DDI (DION) merged, became KDDI, on 1st Oct. Tel. no. search.
Tokyo Metallic, Osaka Metallic, Nagoya Metallic. Now affiliated with Yahoo-BB.
NTT-ME WakWak. Tel. 0120-120-616. ¥3,700/mo. (up to 1 GB) for F Let's ADSL. (¥700/mo. for F Let's ISDN). 50 MB disk space, web hosting.
ODN DSL. Tel. 0088-85. ¥2,880/mo. Area includes Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka.
OCN. NTT company. FLets ADSL. ¥620 MyLine discount.
Cable (TV) Internet (provider listing) (No NTT charges!) (May require all condos in building to be wired.) Note: some bundles don't include e-mail, may be billed on a per-connected-PC basis, & start-up costs can be high.
MNI "Cabbage". Cable 3Mbps ¥4,400/mo. Sendai.
Rosenet. Cable ¥5,500/mo. Minato-ku.
City TV. Cable 2Mbps ¥3,900/mo. Nakano-ku.
KitaQ. Cable ¥4,800/mo. Kita-ku.
Toshima-Net. Cable ¥4,800/mo. Toshima-ku.
Tokyo Baynet. Cable ¥4,700/mo. Edogawa-ku.
ITS (area). 2nd biggest after J-Com: works with Tokyu Cable, Ota Cable, YouTV, CTS, Odakyu, YCV. 30Mbps: ¥5,200/mo., 8Mbps: ¥2,500/mo., 512kbps: ¥2,200/mo. Area covers Shibuya/Meguro/Ota/Kawasaki/Machida/Yokohama.
Tokyu Cable. Cable. See ITS above. Shibuya, Setagaya, Meguro, Ota-ku, Machida, Kawasaki, Yokohama.
Ota Cable. 0120-340-893. Cable 30M. ¥4,980/mo. (2Mbps.) Ota-ku.
CTS. Cable ¥3,980/mo. Shinagawa-ku.
Odakyu Cable (English). Cable 20M, 8M and IP phone ¥3,780/mo. or ¥3,280 for two global IPs. (6 mo. contract) Setagaya-ku, Komae, Machida, Tama, Sagamihara, Kawasaki, Yokohama. Tel. 0120-780-221
YouTV. Cable 4M. ¥3,800/mo. Kawasaki/Yokohama.
YCV. Cable 4 M. ¥3,900/mo. Yokohama.
CTK TV. 0120-86-1237. Cable 10M. ¥3,480/mo. Yamato/Zama/Ebina.
Sea Blue Net Kanazawa. Cable 30M. ¥5,500/mo. Kanazawa-ku (Yokohama).
ALLNET. 0120-367-816. Cable 512k. ¥6,000/mo. Chiba (Kashiwa), Edogawa, Kodaira/Hoya, Itabashi, Sagamihara/Yamato.
My TV. Cable ¥3,980/mo. Tachikawa and western suburbs.
TeleMedia. Cable 128k ¥5,900/mo. Hachioji.
TEPCO. Cable ¥2,980 (128kbps), ¥4,300 (512kbps) or ¥5,300 (2Mbps)/mo. Saitama.
J-Com. Cable about ¥5,500/mo. Sapporo, Ibaragi, Gunma, Saitama, Urawa, Suginami-ku, Nerima-ku, Shonan, Osaka, Kobe, Fukuoka.
Starcat. Cable 1Mbps ¥2,900/mo.; 8Mbps ¥4,700/mo. Nagoya.
ZAQ (J-Com affiliate). Cable ¥6,000/mo. Represents several companies in Osaka area and Kobe.
Hanshin City Cable. Cable ¥4,900/mo. Nishinomiya.
Kintetsu KCN. Cable ¥4,500/mo. Nara.
Kyoto cable. Cable 128k. ¥4,900/mo. Kyoto.
Hicat. ¥3,000/mo. Hiroshima.