Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Switched to DoCoMo via Mineo D Plan on the Nexus 5


In the last article I mentioned that I ordered two new SIMs from Mineo to use with our Nexus 5 phones until I leave Japan. The SIMs should have arrived around October 29, but they were not here even by the 31st. 31st is significant because I was going to terminal the AU connections. I was hoping to start using the Mineo connections from November 1. Funny thing was that one of my colleagues also ordered Mineo SIMs about 2 days later than I did but he had received them by the 30th.

I was so upset about it that I tweeted Mineo telling my dissatisfaction. They told me that there could be delays due to huge demand these days. That would have been justifiable if my colleague hadn’t received his SIMs. He also lives close to our apartment so it could not have been a delay in the postal service.

But luckily, I received the SIMs early morning on November 1. It was delivered to me by a postman and it came as registered post. I wasn’t really affected by the delay much because it was the weekend. If I had to leave for work without internet connectivity, I would have lost my mind.


The SIMs came in two packages like these.

There was a manual with all the instructions to setup the phones were bundled along with the SIMs. The Mineo numbers – at least the ones I got start with 070. I am not used to that prefix. I’ve only seen 080 or 090 on mobile phones.

I set up my Nexus 5 first and finally I could connect to the internet from the phone via the DoCoMo’s data network. However there was one concern. There was a “H” near the clock instead of “LTE”. What? Why was I getting only HSPA speeds? Did I set up the phone wrong? Or doesn’t DoCoMo have support for LTE in the area? Or was is specific to this connection? Entering in and out of the Airplane Mode didn’t make it connect at LTE speeds.

I decided to set up my wife’s phone and see. But my kid needed entertainment and I forgot about this issue soon after setting up my wife’s phone. Later I remembered it and when I checked her phone, it was showing as connected at LTE speeds. Baffled, I checked my phone, and now it was showing as LTE as well. False alarm I guess.

Then there was another concern. I logged into my Mineo account from the browser and it showed as I was having 6144MB data left for the month. But I only signed up for the 3072MB connection. I was worried that I had to pay for October too. To make things worse, when I checked for further details about my contract, I saw it saying that this is my 2nd month in the contract period. But I knew I could argue against it as I only received the SIM on November 1. However because I was worried about it, I decided to contact support. I used their chat service for this because it is free.

What I learned about it was that,the reason why is it showing up as 6144MB is because of a system error. Even though I was to be charged from November, since the contract was entered to in October. They further said  that I could use all 6GB data without any problem and the remainder of the previous month get added to the next month. Not sure if there is a maximum limit though.


And there is more good news.

There is a discount of JPY 800 (plus tax) for 6 months for people who applied for the connection before October 31. And that includes me. So I actually have to pay about JPY 866 for the period I would be using the connections. Great!

Total savings by terminating the AU connections in October instead of November: more than JPY 9,000.

If I had known about Mineo back when I bought the AU connections, I could have saved a huge sum of money. Better late than never. And that means, I am back on the Nexus 5 and I had my first issue with Android as mentioned in this article.

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