If you have a plan to travel to Japan, it is important to have a stable network. Pocket Wi-Fi is the best option for connecting to the Internet anywhere, indoors or outdoors, with a computer or smartphone. If you reserve a Pocket Wi-Fi online before coming to Japan, you can pick it up at the airport or hotel and use it.
What points should you pay attention to use pocket Wi-Fi in Japan?
This article is summarized in 3 points for those who are not familiar with Japanese Mobile network.
Which is the best pocket Wi-Fi service to use for business trips to Japan?
How much data usage is required?
Amount of data usage used by service
|GoogleMAP||0.6MB||3,000 times||15,000 times|
|400MB/hour||40 hours||200 hours|
|ZOOM||600MB/hour||33.2 hours||166 hours|
|NETFLIX(HD)||1.5GB/hour||13 hours||66 hours|
|Amazon Prime Video(HD)||800MB/hour||25 hours||125 hours|
77% are under 100 GB – Monthly data usage of pocket Wi-Fi for Japanese
The average data usage per month is about 70GB~130GB per month in 2019. This is the data usage when an individual uses Pocket Wi-Fi with a smartphone or computer.
(Data on data usage for those who have a pocket Wi-Fi contract in Japan.)
2019 wifi data
According to this web page, about 8 out of 10 people use less than 100GB of data usage in a month.
As a side note, about half of them have less than 40 GB of data usage.
If you are traveling Japan and have multiple people and multiple devices using pocket Wi-Fi for data usage, you may need more than 100 GB per month.
How much internet speed do you need with pocket Wi-Fi?
Video Meeting services (Zoom, Google Meet, etc.) and video streaming services (Youtube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Vide, etc.) requires fast Internet speed. As long as the connection speed exceeds the speed required by the video services, there is no problem for other services such as e-mail, web browsing, and social media.
Required speed by major video services
The following is a summary of how much speed the major video services require.
|Required speed||Video Resolution|
|Google Meet||2.6 mbps with 2 participants|
3.2 mbps with 5 participants
4.0 mbps with 10 participants
|4K/UHD 4K (UHD)|
|Prime Video||5 Mbps|
You can watch the 4K video with the speed of 20Mbps. Since 4K quality is for viewing on a TV or other large screen, a speed of 10 Mbps is actually sufficient.
Is the actual pocket Wi-Fi in Japan speed more than 10 Mbps?
The speed is the average of data measured by more than 50 Japanese people in the last three months. Data speed depends not on the performance of the device, but on the SIM cards provided by which telecommunication company.
This data is the average of communications with 5G and 4G networks.
|Telecommunication Services||Average download speed||Pocket Wi-Fi Rental|
|docomo(MVNO)*||11.29Mbps – 59.75Mbps||🟡|
docomo, which is increasingly communicating by 5G, is seeing faster average speeds.
Most pocket wifi that foreigners can rent in Japan are on 4G networks. In the table above, the speed of softbank or Wimax or docomo(mvno) is important.
As of September 2022, MVNO SIMs are mainly 4G, and recent data measurements indicate that MVNOs are running at speeds of 11 Mbps or higher, so we can say that the Pocket Wi-Fi’s speed is adequate.
*Actual speeds may be slower than the data above. The speeds of pocket wifi vary greatly depending on the time and location.
Please see this article for more information.
Can you connect at the place you are staying?
The strength of the signal varies from place to place, and the area of connection depending on the telecommunications company.
The following is an overview of the speed and area of each carrier’s pocket wi-fi.
|Telecommunication Services||Speed||coverage area|
Most pocket Wi-Fi for visitors to Japan include a Softbank, Wimax, or docomo (mvno). Therefore, it is the areas of Softbank, Docomo, and Wimax that you need to focus on.
Pocket Wi-Fi rental services for tourists and international students visiting Japan are designed to be used in a variety of locations, so They provide pocket Wi-Fis with a wide area of connectivity such as docomo and Softbank. WiMAX has a high-frequency bandwidth and high speed, but it is difficult to connect in buildings or in rural areas.
Before renting a pocket Wi-Fi, some rental service companies will answer if you ask them to find out if the address where you are staying is in an area that is connected or not.
Japan Pocket Wi-Fi Rental
There is no “Unlimited Data” pocket Wi-Fi for Japanese
Around February 2021, one of Japan’s pocket Wi-Fi services became a major problem due to slowdowns in transmission speeds, even though the service offered unlimited data connection. Complaints about unlimited but no connection spread to social media and became a hot topic. In response to this issue, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications issued administrative guidance and then, most services have clarified the data communication capacity that can be communicated per month.
Currently, there is no pocket Wi-Fi with guaranteed unlimited communication that Japanese can contract. Even if a service overstates its unlimited data, there is in fact a cap on data usage.
However, since the limit is unclear, it would be wise to use a service that has a clearly defined data communication limit.
Pocket Wi-Fi rental service for travelers and international students in Japan
The 3 requirements pointed out above
|Data||100GB/month or higher|
Here are some online services that you can rent a Pocket Wi-fi that meets these requirements.
If you contact them and give them your address you are staying, they will check if is in the communication area or not.
Wi-Fi RENTAL Store
They are a long-established company in the rental WIFI industry. It can be delivered all over Japan and can be received at their offices.
They have been providing online rental services for a long time. More recently, they have been known for their eSIM and data capacity comparison services for Japanese customers. There are three data usage plans from 10 GB to 100 GB with 4G in eConnect Japan. The WiFi connection allows you to use the 4G Internet for 10 GB, 50 GB or 100 GB during your renral.
I am Japanese and my nickname is Momo.
I have been working in the mobile telecommunications industry for about 7 years and am familiar with Japanese telecommunications services. Although my English is not very good, I would like to provide useful telecommunication-related information to those who stay in Japan as accurately as possible.