Of Keitai & Connectivity

So those of you out there that know close to anything about modern Japanese culture know that the keitai, or cellular phone is somewhat of a necessity. If you don’t have one, you’re not really a person, right? Actually, you are right, they are pretty much a necessity. So how does this sort of plan sound to you people living in Canada?

$33.00/month for roughly 66 minutes of service.

Holy crap, right? Wrong.

Now I can hear you scoffing already about your $30.00 200 minute, plus unlimited evening and weekend plans. Let’s continue, shall we? How many years did you sign up for to get that rate? Two, maybe three if you wanted that cheap phone? And what is your cancelation fee?

Try $110.00. Flat, across any plan. And those minutes you didn’t use from the past month? Rolled over to your next month. That hasn’t been available in Canada since Fido rolled over, and gave up the pooch to Rogers.

“But two minutes a day isn’t enough,” I hear you say. Well yes, unless you take into account that all incoming calls are free. That, and nobody uses their phones for voice communication, despite the fact that we can also make video calls; it’s all text based. And it’s only an extra $8.40 per month for unlimited mail use. Plus, $3.40 per month will get me unlimited voice chatting with a significant other.

And remember those contracts I spoke of earlier? My 2 year contract gives me 4 months free, saving me $132.00; well over the cost of my cancelation fee. That and my phone (not the top of the line, but kicks the crap out of similarly priced phones back home) cost me about $44.00.

So, is Japan really that much more expensive to live in? Well, as I’m discovering, it really depends on what you’re looking for. If I ever decide to do a post about microwave ovens, you’ll understand.