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Japanese Blackberry update June 28, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in electronics, IT, Japan, Mobile.

Following up from a previous post, where I wondered why DoCoMo is bothering to sell Blackberrys in Japan without Japanese language support, I came across the DoCoMo USA site where they offer a mail client with full Japanese language support. The Namimail software allows Japanese read/write support on Blackberry.

So if DoCoMo is providing this service in the US, why aren’t they offering the same software on Japanese market devices? It would seem to be a no brainer.

Is it a symptom of a large bureaucratic organisation where one division doesn’t have a clue about what another division is doing?



1. noah silva - August 19, 2006

Last I checked, Blackberries supported only GSM and the systems in use in the US (iDen, etc.) Selling blackberries in Japan would be pointless, except for travelers. Certainly my T-Mobile blackberry works in China, Taiwan, etc., but no in Japan at all.

2. fukumimi - August 19, 2006

Because of the domestic protocols adopted for the legacy mobile cellular networks, GSM devices do not work in Japan. Japanese carriers have moved over to more widely adopted standards for 3G (W-CDMA, CDMA2000).

The version of the Blackberries that will be sold in Japan will be a W-CDMA & GSM/GPRS dual mode device. The PR is unclear if this will allow DoCoMo Blackberry users to roam on overseas W-CDMA 3G networks, however they would seem to be no technical barriers to this possibility, and there is already a W-CDMA Blackberry on sale in Hong Kong which apparently can be used to roam on Japanese W-CDMA networks. (SmarTone Vodafone 8707v, which I assume uses the Vodafone (or is it Softbank Mobile or something these days?) W-CDMA network when roaming in Japan)

3. Gen Kanai - August 23, 2006

I was checking Honeyee.com and I saw that Jeff Staple’s Blackberry 8707 is working in Japan (switching between DoCoMo and Vodafone he says).


4. fukumimi - August 23, 2006


Thanks for the link.
I am starting to think I might actually get a crackberry if it doubles as a roaming phone for when I am overseas. But I worry about roaming charges…

With my crackberry I would be able to blog easily anywhere.
I guess I could get a Willcom W-Zero3 which also has a QWERTY keyboard…

Typing in english on a phone is a pain, and I don’t want to move to a crappy local blog hosting provider just for the moblogging functionality….

5. fulltilt poker - March 1, 2007

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6. RD - March 26, 2007

If you buy a certain BlackBerry model (8707g) in Singapore (where I bought mine) or Hong Kong (so I’ve heard) and swap your SIM card, it will work in Japan.

7. Marc - April 3, 2007

i’m in japan as we speak – my 8707g phone and data work just fine thank you very much – sure would like to find some navigation software however – New York Paris London is fine, but where’s Tokyo ?

8. anti snoring - June 20, 2013

Excellent post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject?

I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Cheers!

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