The Ultimate English Guide to Rakuten Mobile 2022| Best Unlimited SIM Card in Japan
Do you live in Japan and seek the best unlimited SIM card? Here is the best guide for you! Rakuten mobile is the cheapest unlimited SIM card in Japan, with their service plan, “Rakuten UN-LIMIT VII”. Discover the pros and cons of Rakuten Mobile!
Rakuten Mobile For Foreigners
Do you live in Japan and seek the best unlimited SIM card? Here is the best guide for you!
Rakuten mobile is the cheapest unlimited SIM card in Japan, with their service plan, “Rakuten UN-LIMIT VII”. The plan offers both unlimited data and domestic calls, available for just 2,980 yen per month.
In the Japan SIM card market, unlimited data plans are still not very common. In fact, other than Rakuten mobile, there are no SIM card providers offering low-cost unlimited data.
Rakuten Mobile subscribers can also enjoy unlimited domestic calls for free with the “Rakuten Link” app. This app allows subscribers to make free calls to any Japanese numbers, including to those on other carriers. Even when you are out of the country, you can still make free calls to Japanese numbers.
Best Unlimited Plan “Rakuten UN-LIMIT VII”
Rakuten Mobile is actually a carrier service although it is categorized as cheap SIM from time to time because of its pricing. Rakuten Mobile's plan "Rakuten UN-LIMIT VII", is priced at 3,278 yen (tax included) per month at maximum for unlimited data. This price point is much cheaper than the three major carriers (Softbank, docomo, and au).
On the other hand, their great service will pleasantly surprise you, with unlimited high-speed data communication capacity in the Rakuten network area, and unlimited domestic calls using the calling app “Rakuten Link”.
（In July 2022, the price increased 0 JPY to 1,078 JPY）
|1,078 JPY||2,178 JPY||3,278 JPY|
|Data Capaciy||Rakuten Mobile network area：Unlimited
Partner network area：5GB per month
Network is still available at 1 Mbps even after the data capacity is exceeded
|Domestic call|| "Rakuten Link" app：Free unlimited call
Normal call：22 JPY per 30 seconds
15-minute unlimited call service：1,100 JPY per month
7 Advantages of Rakuten Mobile
1. “Rakuten UN-LIMIT VII” meeting any lifestyle
The Rakuten Mobile’s new service plan, "Rakuten UN-LIMIT VII", which features a fee structure that flexibly adjusts with data use, prides itself to have a very high reputation.
In fact, Rakuten UN-LIMIT VII has the lowest pricing in the industry for each data capacity.
With “Rakuten UN-LIMIT VII”, the monthly charge fee changes according to the monthly data usage. The data charge caps out at 3,278 JPY for unlimited data so also you don’t need to worry about charges beyond that price.
Therefor, if you find that your monthly data usage fluctuates, Rakuten Mobile's services might be a fitting option for your lifestyle.
2. High-speed internet service connection of Rakuten Mobile network
One of Selectra’s editors conducted an experiment on the connection speed of Rakuten Mobile inside the Tokyo metro system.
To conclude, although from time to time it took a bit of loading time, in most cases, Rakuten Mobile’s network was stable, enough to stream youtube videos comfortably.
3. Free unlimited domestic calls with the “Rakuten Link” app
With the “Rakuten Link” app, you can make unlimited domestic calls at no charge or data consumption.
Even when you are out of the country, you can still make free calls to any Japanese numbers.
For those of you who frequently make a lot of calls, Rakuten Mobile can save you a lot.
4. 2GB Free International Roaming
With Rakuten Mobile, you can get 2GB of high-speed data abroad (66 countries) at no extra charge. After it exceeds 2GB, you still have unlimited data at the speed of 128 kbps. So even if you travel abroad, you can still use Rakuten Mobile
5. High leverage of Rakuten Point by Super Point Up program (SPU)
One of the benefits of using Rakuten Mobile is that you can collect Rakuten points since Rakuten Mobile subscribers are eligible for the Rakuten Super Point Up Program (Rakuten SPU).
With Rakuten SPU, if you subscribe to Rakuten Mobile, you will get +2 times more points when you shop at Rakuten Ichiba. Also, if you are a diamond member on Rakuten, you will get an additional +1 times more points.
So if you often shop at Rakuten Ichiba, Rakuten Mobile will serve as a big advantage.
6. Free Fiber Internet Service with Rakuten Hikari for one year
If you are already using Rakuten Mobile or if you intend to apply for Rakuten Mobile, you can use Rakuten Hikari, Rakuten’s internet service, for one year free of charge by taking advantage of the current Rakuten Mobile and Rakuten Hikari campaign.
Therefore, if you limit the monthly data usage to less than 3GB with Rakuten UN-LIMIT VII, you can reduce the communication cost for the first year to 12,936 yen on both Internet and smartphone.
Generally 3GB of a major carrier costs about 5,000 yen, so if you use Rakuten Hikari's campaign, you will be able to cover the communication cost for one year with a few months worth of the 3GB plan of a major carrier. It's a great deal, isn't it?
7. Special Rakuten Point Offer for new Rakuten subscribers purchasing an iPhone
Rakuten Mobile’s campaign offer is quite generous compared to other cheap SIMs.
Rakuten Mobile is currently conducting a campaign to offer Rakuten points which are worth a couple ten thousand JPY. for those who start Rakuten mobile by purchasing an iPhone.
Rakuten Mobile also offers Rakuten points for new subscribers who made a contract only with an internet line (not purchasing a phone).
3 Disadvantages of Rakuten Mobile
1. Unstable internet connection depending on location
Rakuten Mobile's network tends to be unstable in a building or when you are underground.
It's a rather technical matter, but Rakuten Mobile does not have a frequency band called "Platinum Band". Platinum bands are allocated to docomo, au, and Softbank, and through these bands, radio waves tend to be transmitted more easily indoors, such as in buildings with thick walls, compared to normal radio waves.
Unfortunately, Rakuten Mobile is not allocated a platinum band at this stage, so Rakuten Mobile users may experience disruptions during communications indoors.
Rakuten Mobile has been insisting to implement the platinum band for their services, but there are currently no plans for this.
2. Poorly-reputed “Rakuten Link” call quality
The call quality of Rakuten Mobile is not very known to be of high standards, although that is rather subjective and we at Selectra don’t necessarily think that it is “bad” .
According to one of Selectra’s editors who was not notified about the quality of the sound when using Rakuten Link to avoid bias conclusion, they stated that there was not much difference in terms of the quality between Rakuten Link and the normal call application.
Taking other reviews into consideration, the conclusion was that the quality of calls made by Rakuten Link is slightly inferior to that made by using the normal calling app, but it is better than that made by using the popular app, LINE.
However, keep in mind that this also depends on how stable the internet connection status is.
3. No English support
Unfortunately, Rakuten Mobile has no English support as of now. Their official website is also only displayed in Japanese. Therefore, to apply for Rakuten Mobile, a certain level of Japanese proficiency is necessary.
Don’t worry! Selectra made an easy step-by-step guide for you here to apply for Rakuten Mobile! With this guide, you can start Rakuten Mobile even if you don’t understand any Japanese, as long as you have a “Residence card” or “Special Permanent Residence Certificate”.
In terms of the services, Rakuten Mobile is definitely a good match for the foreigners who seek high quality unlimited data plans.
@Rakuten_Mobile Foreigners cannot apply if the residence card is less than 1 year. Please take note of this to change that status because other competing companies can offer the service. Thank you
Huda | フダ (@msbhuda) April 12, 2021
Now I got a new visa on March 9th for a year. I went to various Rakuten stores on the 12th, but I was told that it was no good. Foreigners can get visa from June from immigration in Japan, but it is very difficult to buy a mobile phone. Why did foreigners in Japan not have access to the internet on the train?
सफलता (@archu72) March 18, 2022