I've got a Nexus 4, but was told that despite it being quad-band, it won't work in Japan. Do they have a different network there?

I've answered a question before on getting up and running in Japan with a cellphone, but now I'm wondering if it's even possible with a phone like mine.

  • Are we talking voice or data?
    – Karlson
    Mar 18 '14 at 2:43
  • Both, but mainly data, I suppose.
    – Mark Mayo
    Mar 18 '14 at 2:45
  • Can you clarify what you mean by "won't work"? I had a Nexus 4 before and used it in Japan for calls and SMS, roaming from Vodafone Australia to Softbank. Mar 18 '14 at 3:21
  • As in I've been told it won't be able to communicate in texts, voice and data...
    – Mark Mayo
    Mar 18 '14 at 3:25

All modern "3G" and "4G" phones work in Japan with your foreign SIM card. You will not have problems.

While there are phone bands in Japan that do not exist abroad and while older GSM phones will also not work in Japan, as long as you can use 3G or 4G on your phone, it will work in Japan.

I have been in Japan just a week ago with a group of people from abroad, and Nexus, HTC and iPhone devices all work there, for data AND for voice.


The intricacies of the band system are beyond me, but b-mobile, who offer pre-paid SIMs for unlocked devices in Japan, seem to support the Nexus 4 / one of its available bands (match up between the N4 Wikipedia page and b-mobile is W-CDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA Band 1 2100MHz)

Note this service is data only.

  • b-mobile is data only because of stupid Japanese government limitations on selling prepaid voice SIMs. Mar 18 '14 at 3:20
  • Yup yup. Always Skype / Line / KakaoTalk for voice, though b-mobile will traffic manage it. Mar 18 '14 at 3:21

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