Mobal Sim Card Review for Japan for 2019

Mobal Sim Card Review

On our recent trip to Japan we decided to use two Mobal sim cards (voice+data and data only) while we were travelling.  We also trialled several other sim card and pocket wifi options so that we could develop our own reviews of each option. 

Mobal provides both data only and voice+data sim cards for Japan.  They are one of the few voice+data sim card options which are readily available for tourists.  If you choose the data+voice Mobal sim card for more than one person in your travelling group, you get unlimited free calls between each Mobal sim card during your Japan visit.

We used both options during our visit and one of the great things is that they will ship worldwide for free, so you can receive your sim card before you depart and also go through the activation process in advance – meaning one less thing to do after you arrive in Japan.  If you choose you can also collect your Mobal sim card after arrival in Japan at major airports and other locations.

Our overall verdict was that both Mobal sim cards were competitively priced, very easy to order, set up and use, and worked absolutely as promised. 

Note that our Mobal sim cards were provided by Mobal, but our opinions are our own.

Join the Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group

You are also welcome to join our Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to be inspired and to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Japan!

Japan Travel Planning

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Benefits of Purchasing a Japan Travel Sim Card

In our experience as travellers we can confidently state that either purchasing a sim card or renting a pocket wifi are great options to ensure that you have an affordable option to access data while on the go.  Both options provide convenient access to the internet without the hassle of trying to find free Wifi.  As you may be aware, free wifi can be a pain, due to having to find it, then log in to each wifi hotspot, plus you never really know how secure these options are.  You can also use your included accommodation wifi, however these are only available while you are in the building.

During our recent visit to Japan we used data continuously – for things like the Google Maps app to help get around.  We also regularly used data to look up information about our planned destinations, and to use waiting time apps for Disney and Universal Studios Japan theme park rides!  And let’s not mention the urge to post to social media to share our journey with our friends and family  😀 .  Check out our article on the best apps to load onto your phone for your trip to Japan.

A data only SIM card is perfect if you don’t need a SIM card that includes voice calls and text messages while you are in Japan. With unlimited data it is very easy to use apps like Whatsapp to make phone calls and send messages.

If you prefer to have voice call options while in Japan to more easily enable you to make local calls to your accommodation and other service providers, then Mobal is the best option as one of the few providers of voice+data sim cards for visitors to Japan.

To be able to use a Mobal sim card you need to have an unlocked mobile phone which can use either 3G or 4G – you can check with your current network provider whether your phone is unlocked, and steps you may need to take to unlock your cell phone.

Mobal Sim Card for Japan
Mobal Sim Card for Japan

Mobal Sim Card Review

Overview of the Mobal Data + Voice Sim Card

The Mobal Sim prepaid data+voice sim card is a fast 4G sim card with unlimited data using the extensive Softbank network which is available for either a 30, 60 or 90 day period.  Your days commence on the date you activate the card, not the date it is ordered or delivered.  There is no contract and no residence visa required. 

Note that you have a monthly data limit of 7GB per calendar month, and speed reduces to 128 Kbps if you use more than that. Your data allowance resets on the first day of each month, so if your usage period crosses the end of the month your data allowance will recommence.

Your Mobal data+voice sim card includes unlimited free incoming calls and texts, and free calls to other MOBAL Japan sims between 1am and 9pm each day.

Mobal includes free worldwide shipping, expedited shipping is also available or various collection locations in Tokyo, Osaka, Sendai or Singapore.  The Mobal sim card comes with a Sim card adapter kit for use with nano, micro and standard SIM card slots.

Current pricing for the Mobal Voice+Data Sim Card is as follows : (Note prices are correct as at 19 October 2019, and are subject to change due to exchange rate variations and product pricing changes)

  • SIM Purchase Price – $US29 + $US43 per month for data + voice + SMS plan.
  • Unlimited free incoming calls and texts, and free calls to other MOBAL Japan sims between 1am and 9pm each day.
  • US 28 cents per minute for domestic calls (within Japan). US 62 cents per minute for international calls to 26 countries (inc. Australia, Canada, USA, UK, etc). $US1.90 per minute for other countries.
  • Domestic text messages (within Japan) are US 11 cents per text and international texts are $US1.33 per text message.

Click here to check out the details and book your Mobal Sim Card

Mobal Voice + Data Sim Card Package
Mobal Voice + Data Sim Card Package
Mobal Voice + Data Sim Card - Instructions
Mobal Voice + Data Sim Card – Instructions

Overview of the Mobal Data Only Sim Card

The Mobal Sim prepaid data only sim card is a fast 4G sim card with unlimited data using the extensive Softbank network which is available for either a 8, 16 or 31 day period.  Your days commence on the date you activate the sim card, not the date it is ordered or delivered.

The Mobal Data only sim card comes with a Fair Usage Policy.  You have unlimited data at 4G LTE speeds where possible, however if you use more than 3GB per day your data speeds may be reduced for 24-48 hours.

Mobal includes free worldwide shipping, expedited shipping is also available or various collection locations in Tokyo, Osaka, Sendai or Singapore.  The Mobal sim card comes with a Sim card adapter kit for use with nano, micro and standard SIM card slots.

Current pricing for the Mobal Data Only Sim Card is as follows: (Note prices are correct as at 19 October 2019, and are subject to change due to exchange rate variations and product pricing changes)

  • Mobal Data Only Sim Card – 8 days – $US38
  • Mobal Data Only Sim Card – 16 days – $US57
  • Mobal Data Only Sim Card – 31 days – $US71

Click here to check out the details and book your Mobal Sim Card

Mobal Data Only Sim Card - Package Inclusions
Mobal Data Only Sim Card – Package Inclusions

Mobal Sim Card Shipping Timeframes and Expedited Shipping Options

For Mobal Sim Cards free international shipping includes the following locations and delivery timings:

  • Free Shipping to Japan, 1 – 3 business days
  • Free Shipping to the USA and UK, 2 – 5 business days
  • Free Shipping to other countries, 8 – 15 business days

Expedited shipping is only available for the USA and UK as follows:

  • Expedited next business day shipping to the USA costs an additional JPY Â¥4,500
  • Expedited next business day shipping to the UK costs an additional JPY Â¥1,500

When we placed our Mobal order we ordered the Data + Voice sim card to be delivered to our home address, and for the data only sim card to be collected at Narita Airport after we arrived in Japan.  We felt this would be a good option to see how well each process worked.

We received our home delivery to Australia within one week with no issue.  The package we received is shown below, and included the Mobal sim card and detailed instructions.

Mobal Sim Card Review
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Ordering Your Mobal Sim Cards

The first step is to order your Mobal sim cards.  After clicking on the Mobal sim card link you will automatically go to the Short Term Sim Card Page.  On that page you will see a comprehensive table which compares both the data only and the data+voice sim card options side by side. 

Mobal Sim Card Ordering Page
Mobal Sim Card Ordering Page

For more detailed information about each card option click on the grey ‘More Details’ buttons, a pop up will then provide more detailed information about each sim card option.  Carefully read this information to understand what you will get as part of your Mobal sim card order.  Details include data speed, the requirement for an unlocked device as well as FAQs. 

Mobal - Sim Card More Information Popup
Mobal – Sim Card More Information Popup

Once you have decided which sim card will best suit your needs you then click on the red ‘Buy Now’ button.  From there you finalise your shopping cart, then enter your pick up or shipping information, and enter your name, address and other information.  If you are going to pick up your sim card you must also provide your passport information, which you must show when you pick up your package. At this stage Mobal confirms your shipping timeframe and advises the date by which you should receive your sim card.

Mobal Sim Card Ordering Screen
Mobal Sim Card Ordering Screen

Once you have completed this section, you then proceed to enter your billing details, your email and your payment method.  Payment options include Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club, JCB and PayPal.  Enter your preferred payment option and then click the red ‘Continue to Review’ button.

You then shift to the review screen where you can review your full order and make any final changes before choosing to proceed to Place Your Order.  Note that the Mobal ordering and payment process is secure.

Once you have clicked ‘Place Order’, you will proceed to the order confirmation page, and you will then also receive an email confirmation of your order within a few minutes.

Our Mobal Sim Card Home Delivery Experience

When we placed our Mobal order we ordered the Data + Voice sim card to be delivered to our home address, and for the data only sim card to be collected at Narita Airport after we arrived in Japan.  We felt this would be a good option to see how well each process worked.

We received our home delivery to Australia within one week with no issue.  The package we received is shown below, and included the Mobal sim card and detailed instructions.

I then followed the Mobal sim card activation instructions which are detailed below.  Overall I found the process to be quite easy and step by step.  Be aware that for Voice + Data sim cards that you need to provide identification information during the activation process.

You can complete activation process online before you depart, which includes submitting your proof of identity online.  The instructions and website are easy to use, and it takes 24 hours for your activation to be processed so ensure you complete this step early. 

Our Mobal Sim Card Japan Collection Experience

We also found the Mobal sim card collection process easy after we arrived at Narita Airport.  At each airport there are QL Liner counters, which are like a courier parcel collection service.  They only hand out parcels where you can prove your identity with your order confirmation and passport, they cannot assist you with any Mobal specific issues.

When you place your order for your Mobal sim card ensure you carefully select your arrival terminal and collection location. Be aware that in some airport terminals that there may be more than one QL Liner counter, so carefully research which one will be closest to your arrival point before locking in your collection location.

When we got to the correct QL Liner counter there were no issues collecting our Mobal package which contained everything we were expecting.

QL Liner Counter at Narita Airport
QL Liner Counter at Narita Airport

Mobal Voice+Data Sim Card Activation Process

For Mobal Data only sim cards you do not need to go through the below activation process – it is only for Voice + Data sim card customers to prove your identity.

Mobal Voice + Data Sim Card - Inside Package
Mobal Voice + Data Sim Card – Inside Package

Go to www.simactivations.comand and then enter the SIM Serial number which is printed on the back of the instruction packet.  Your phone number in Japan is also printed on the label.

Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 1
Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 1

Log into your My Mobal Account, using the details sent to your email address after placing your order.  Then select the option to activate your sim card.

Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 2
Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 2
Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 3
Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 3

You then need to upload an ID document and finish working through the activation screens.

Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 4
Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 4
Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 5
Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 5
Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 6
Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 6
Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 7
Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 7
Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 8
Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 8
Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 9
Mobal Voice + Data Activation Process Step 9

After completing the activation process I received an activation email the next day from Mobal.

On arrival in Japan I installed the sim card, set up the APN as per the instruction sheet, tested and then had an active sim where I was also able to make and receive calls!

Mobal Data Only Sim Card Activation Process

If you have purchased a Mobal Data Only Sim Card there is a lot less to do.  After you arrive in Japan you install your new sim card into your phone (make sure you put your home sim card in a safe place!).  Update your APN number as detailed in the instructions, and it should quickly connect and activate, test it and you should be good to go!

Mobal Data Only Sim Card - Package Inclusions
Mobal Data Only Sim Card – Package Inclusions

Our Mobal Sim Card Japan Travelling Experience

I used the Voice+Data Mobal Sim Card for the full four weeks that we were travelling in Japan.  I have a Samsung Galaxy S10 Dual Sim Phone so I was able to insert it into the second slot and set it up as my primary sim card for both data and voice. 

Throughout our trip we periodically used the sim card to make local calls to our accommodation, to connect with tour guides and more.  I used it everywhere for data including Google Maps, train information, weather, looking up information and much more.  I also used the sim card to log into my laptop each day to continue managing our blog and Facebook groups.  I never reached a point where I exceeded the data allowance, and it worked well in both urban and more rural locations.

On our return home to Australia I switched my phone settings back to my home network and it all worked well.  You can then just throw away the Mobal sim card, and also wait to receive your receipt for any calls made during your visit to Japan which will be charged to your selected payment method.

We used the Mobal Data Only Sim Card in one of our children’s mobile devices, it worked well throughout our visit with no issues.  Our children regularly watch videos, listen to music, connect with their friends via social media and look up information on their phones, and this all worked very smoothly.  At the end of the trip we restored their normal home sim card and threw away the Mobal sim card with no issues.

What to do with Your Mobal Sim Card At the End of Your Trip?

After you return home you then replace your home sim card, you may need to also switch back to your home APN settings, so make sure you take note of them before making the switch in Japan.  Your phone should then reconnect to your home network and work as usual, and you can then just throw away the Mobal sim card.

Click on the below link to check out the latest pricing and options through Mobal, and get ready for smooth data and voice access during your Japan trip.

Click here to check out the details and book your Mobal Sim Card

Mobal Sim Card Review
Mobal Sim Card Review

Join the Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group

You are also welcome to join our Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to be inspired and to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Japan!

Japan Travel Planning

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

 
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