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Thread: Thunderbolt in Japan

  1. Senior Droid
    triptych's Avatar
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    #1

    Question Thunderbolt in Japan

    A friend of mine is on leave from his naval base in Japan for the next few weeks. He really would like to get a thunderbolt and wants to use it on the Softbank network there. Is there an easy way to flash it over to a different network? I know it can be done on the OG DROID but am unfamiliar with the process for the thunderbolt. Softbank uses CDMA and (I assume) the same LTE 4G as Big Red here in the states. If he goes this route he would probably pay full retail.

    His other option would be to get the global data package and use it for emails, texting,and IM (minus voice calls). I believe the unlimited global data from big red is $65 or so. Does Verizon still offer Data only plans?


    Any advice, info, or links would be greatly appreciated.

    --
    Sent from my Cr-48
  2. Master Droid
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    #2
    Considering the tbolt requires a VZW sim card to work, I feel like flashing it to other carriers may be difficult. I don't have a whole lot of knowledge on the matter however so there may be a solution that I'm not aware of.

    Sent from my ADR6400L using DroidForums App
  3. Junior Droid
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    #3
    I just returned from being stationed in Japan, and can tell you that this won't work on Softbank. They use a GSM network, not CDMA. The only Verizon phones that will work over there are their world phones that have both CDMA and GSM radios in them. I was able to use an unlocked Blackberry tour with a Softbank sim card. I then turned off the cdma radio and just used gsm. There wasn't an easy way to use both Softbank and Verizon on the same phone. To use Verizon's international data roaming, I would have to remove the Softbank sim, reinstall the Verizon one, then turn CDMA back on. Then the phone would use Vodafone's data network.

    Sent from Asgard by a Thunderbolt
  4. Senior Droid
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    #4
    Metstang where where you stationed in japan? My friend Tim was on the USS George washington, until a few days after the disasters began.

    Also, what would you suggest he do? Stick with vzw global data or swap sims around? I doubt he'd mind the sim switching in exchange for a phone he really enjoys.

    Sent from my Droid using DroidForums App
  5. Senior Droid
    mark3748's Avatar
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    #5
    Japanese Cellular Phones FAQ

    No GSM in Japan, only CDMA.

    As for being able to use a TB in Japan, you can definitely use it as a phone there, maybe not data. Calling From Japan
    Last edited by mark3748; 03-31-2011 at 06:58 AM.
  6. Master Droid
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    #6
    i'd be kinda shocked if the tbolt supported the proper frequencies to work in japan, i honestly didn't think any vzw phones did besides the world phones.
  7. Junior Droid
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    #7
    I was stationed in Iwakuni, in southern Japan. What I did was, have Verizon unlock my world phone and changed my data plan to international data. I then bought a Softbank SIM card and installed it. I could make phone calls on the Softbank card, but no data. I would swap out the SIMs if I needed the data network.

    Sent from Asgard by a Thunderbolt
  8. Junior Droid
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    #8
    I also knew people that had unlocked phones from T mobile that used Softbank sims as well.

    Sent from Asgard by a Thunderbolt

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