English Guide to UQ mobile Plans | Prices, Reviews, and How to Apply

English Guide to UQ mobile Plans | Prices, Reviews, and How to Apply

UQ mobile is a mobile service provided by UQ Communications Inc. and is a subsidiary of one of Japan’s top three major mobile carriers, au.

Its best feature is that even though it is an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator), it uses au’s network so the network connection is stable and fast.

In this article, we have created an English guide for UQ mobile.

After reading this article, you should know about UQ mobile’s plans and the information you need to know before signing up for a contract including details about the company, its advantages and disadvantages, and its reputation.

You may have tried to read the website for UQ mobile and weren’t able to understand… If you are in this position, we hope that this article will come in handy.

Read ahead!

Related article

If you’re interested in the best SIM cards and phone plans in Japan, check out this article!

Table of contents

  1. UQ mobile plan overview
  2. Advantages of using UQ mobile
  3. Disadvantages of using UQ mobile
  4. UQ mobile is recommended to these kinds of people!
  5. Comparison with other carriers
  6. How to register with UQ mobile?
  7. If you need English support with your phone service

1. UQ mobile plan overview

UQ mobile plan overview

Plans3GB: 1,628 JPY/month
15GB: 2,728 JPY/month
25GB: 3,828 JPY/month
Networkau LTE Network
Contract periodNone
Administrative fee3,300 JPY
Data carry overPresent
TetheringFree
English supportNone

UQ mobile has three plans namely 3GB, 15GB, and 25GB plans. The price is about half of that of major carriers, so it is perfect for people who want to save on their phone bills.

Even though UQ mobile is an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator), it uses au’s network so the connection speeds are stable and fast.

Because MVNOs like UQ mobile borrow the connection of major carriers, there is a possibility of the connection being slower.

Since UQ mobile is a subsidiary of au, it has priority to use the au network. As a result, UQ Mobile has a high-speed connection, just like the major carriers.

One thing to keep in mind is that UQ mobile does not provide any English support. The registration process and plan changes are done in Japanese.

According to some reviews, UQ mobile has some areas where the network connection is unstable. If you are worried about your Japanese communication skills then we recommend you consider carriers that offer English support.

At the end of this article, we will introduce a carrier that provides English support.

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2. Advantages of using UQ mobile

Advantages of using UQ mobile
The 4 advantages of using UQ mobile are:

  • The fees are simple and easy to understand
  • Data can be carried over to the next month
  • You can cancel your contract at any time without penalty
  • Customer support at UQ mobile’s shops

Below, we will explain the above points in more detail.

a) The fees are simple and easy to understand

Japan’s phone plans tend to be complicated and it is hard to understand how your phone bill is calculated.

It is common to see the following types of plans.

  • The monthly fee will be 1,000 JPY higher after the first 6 months of use
  • A discount of 500 JPY for the first 3 months
  • Higher rates if you use more than 3GB/mo of data

The combination of all of the above makes for a difficult-to-understand phone plan. What may seem like a good deal at first glance may be a high price to pay.

On the other hand, the pricing of UQ mobile’s plans is very simple. There are three plans, and this basic price structure remains the same no matter how much you use.

Scroll right for more →→

PlanPlan SPlan MPlan L
Monthly data cap3GB15GB25GB
Monthly fee1,628 JPY2,728 JPY3,828 JPY
Calling fee22 JPY/30sec.22 JPY/30sec.22 JPY/30sec.

*Tax included

b) Data can be carried over to the next month

With UQ mobile, you can transfer the leftover data of last month for the next month as well.

For example, if you are signed up for the 25GB plan and only use 21GB, the leftover 4GB can be transferred to the next month. Therefore, next month you can use a total of 29GB of data.

It is a great system that allows you to use all your data without wasting it.

“During peak hours and even with a connection speed cap that MVNOs usually have, I still get speeds between 1 to 5Mbps. Not to mention that during normal times I get about 50Mbps, and UQ mobile lets the remaining data carry over to next month… UQ must be some kind of monster.”

c) You can cancel your contract at any time without penalty

You can cancel your UQ mobile contract at any time without repercussions.

With other carriers, the contract tends to be one to two years. When you cancel these contracts they usually have penalty fees.

But this is not a cause for worry with UQ mobile.

This makes UQ mobile a good choice for those who are living in Japan for a short time. It might also be smart for those who have recently come to Japan to sign up for UQ mobile; if you find a better carrier then you can always make an easy switch.

d) Customer support at UQ mobile’s shops

UQ mobile can not only be registered online but also via the shop. The shops that provide UQ mobile services are:

  • UQ Spot (UQ official shop)
  • au Shop (Not available in some shops)
  • Cellphone shops that can be found in supermarkets or electronics stores (More than 2,700 shops throughout Japan)

These shops are available all over Japan so most likely you will be able to find one near your home.
You can search for shops via this link↓ (Only available in Japanese)

Unfortunately, English support is not available in these shops, so please bring along a friend who can speak Japanese to help you out.

“Good morning.
Yesterday after I visited the hospital, I went to an au Shop and changed my phone plan to one with UQ mobile. I didn’t make any reservations beforehand and they still helped me out right away. Must’ve been lucky.”

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3. Disadvantages of using UQ mobile

Disadvantages of using UQ mobile
Next, we will introduce the 3 disadvantages of using UQ mobile:

  • No English support
  • Contract cancellation can only be done via phone call
  • Some places have a bad network connection

We will explain the above points in more detail.

a) No English support

UQ mobile does not have English support. Registration, changes to your plan, and the contract information on the user “MyPage” are all only available in Japanese.

There are a few web pages available in English but the information depicted is old and does not have details about the newest plans.

English support is not available via phone calls and in shops.

Unfortunately, UQ mobile does not have English support available. If you are not comfortable with Japanese, you should have a friend who speaks Japanese help you out.

b) Contract cancellation can only be done via phone call

When you want to cancel your contract, it is only possible via phone call and there are no options to cancel online.
According to some reviews, we found out that it is difficult to get a hold of customer service.

“I tried to cancel my UQ mobile contract, but they only accept phone calls. It is near the end of the month and they have shortened their business hours due to COVID. I get that the phone lines are busy so I was going to wait patiently but I was just told to call back later. I guess I won’t be able to cancel my registration before the end of the month.”

When trying to cancel your UQ mobile contract, you should make sure to call at least a few days in advance to avoid situations like this.

c) Some places have a bad network connection

UQ mobile uses au’s network, so it covers 99 percent of the populated area. However, some places will have bad network connection.

“UQ mobile’s network is dead. It is not connecting at all. I’m so annoyed!!!!!!”

“Hold on, does UQ mobile not connect in Kanazawa…?”

Please check beforehand whether the UQ mobile network covers the places you visit often.

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4. UQ mobile is recommended to these kinds of people!

UQ mobile is recommended to these kinds of people!
All in all, UQ mobile is recommended to these kinds of people:

  • People who want a stable, fast, and cheap network
  • People who don’t care about the lack of English support
  • People who need customer support at the shops

UQ mobile is stable and has fast connection speeds compared to other MVNOs. This is because the brand is operated by a subsidiary of au, giving priority to UQ mobile on the au network.

If you are looking for a high-speed network and want a plan cheaper than the major carriers, then UQ mobile is perfect for you.

On the other hand, English support is not available so you will need Japanese communication skills. Also, do not forget that you can only cancel your contract via phone call.

An additional advantage of UQ mobile is that you can get customer support at a physical store. If you are worried about the online registration process but still want to sign up for an MNVO, we suggest using UQ mobile.

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5. Comparison with other carriers

UQ mobile Comparison with other carriers
Let’s compare UQ mobile with other carriers.

Scroll right for more →→

UQ mobiledocomoauSoftBankSakura Mobile
Monthly fee3GB: 1,628 JPY
15GB: 2,728 JPY
25GB: 3,828 JPY
3GB: 5,665 JPY
Unlimited: 7,315 JPY
3GB: 5,588 JPY
Unlimited: 7,238 JPY
3GB: 5,588 JPY
Unlimited: 7,238 JPY
4GB: 3,278 JPY
25GB: 4,378 JPY
NetworkaudocomoauSoftBankdocomo
Coverage99%99%99%99%99%
English SupportJapanese OnlyVery limitedVery limitedVery limited Full English support

UQ mobile is cheaper compared to other major carriers.

If you are looking for full English support, then we recommend Sakura Mobile. It is an MVNO on the docomo network so the connection is fast and the coverage is widespread.

We will explain in detail below.

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6. How to register with UQ mobile?

You can sign up for UQ mobile either at the shop or from the website. Below are the steps to register to UQ mobile from the website.

This is the UQ mobile website. Look at the top of the screen. Click the blue tab second from the right with Online Shop (オンラインショップ) written on it.

How to register to UQ Mobile_ 1

This then leads you to the UQ mobile Online Shop(オンラインショップ) page. When you scroll down you can see the various options available such as SIM card, eSIM, SIM card + Smartphone, etc. Click on the option you want to purchase.

How to register to UQ Mobile_ 2

When you click the pink register button (お申し込み) it will lead you to the page below. Follow the steps written to register to UQ mobile.

How to register to UQ Mobile_ 3

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7. If you need English support with your phone service

If you need English support with your phone service
If you’re looking for an affordable phone plan that can be used in Japan, consider Sakura Mobile.

Features of Sakura Mobile’s long-term SIM card plan:

  • 4GB and 25GB Plans from 2,980 JPY/month
  • docomo’s fast 4G LTE network
  • Full English support 7 days a week
  • Online order and next day shipping
  • Japanese phone number

Sakura Mobile was founded in the year 2014 and up until now has provided cell phone service to more than 10,000 international visitors and residents in Japan.

We do not have an unlimited data plan, but instead offer two plans (4GB and 25GB) with affordable costs available.

Sakura Mobile is an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) on the docomo network, so you can enjoy a high-speed network that is available all over Japan.

For more information take a look here.

Related article

If you’re interested in the best SIM cards and phone plans in Japan, check out this article!

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