Which is Better: SIM Card (eSIM) or Pocket Wi-Fi?
If you are planning a trip to Japan, you might be wondering whether to use a SIM card (eSIM) or a pocket Wi-Fi. Understanding how much data you'll need can help you determine whether Pocket Wi-Fi or a SIM card (eSIM) is the better communication option. In this guide, we aim to explain how much data capacity is ideal based on global data usage, helping you make an informed decision for a seamless communication experience during your stay in Japan.
Here is how you can check if your smartphone can be used in Japan.
Two Checks for Trouble-Free Use of Prepaid SIM (eSIM) in Japan
|Features||Data Capacity||Connection Speed|
|Pocket Wi-Fi||Plans with over 100GB of monthly usage are available, providing ample data.||Utilizes networks of major carriers, ensuring fast and stable speeds.|
|SIM Card (eSIM)||While many plans offer limited data, there are now plans with around 50GB per month.||Relies on MVNO networks, resulting in slightly slower speeds than Pocket Wi-Fi. However, it offers satisfactory speed for smartphone usage.|
When it comes to the necessary data capacity for a trip to Japan, consider the following
The global average monthly mobile data usage for 2022 is 15GB. In regions with higher usage, it can go up to 25GB, while in less data-intensive areas, it may be around 4.5GB.
Considering a daily data usage of around 800MB based on the higher end of global usage (25GB in data-intensive areas), having a plan that allows approximately 800MB per day should suffice.
According to CDJapan Rental data, the average rental period for Pocket Wi-Fi is 14 days. If you plan to stay for around 14 days, considering a plan that offers roughly 14GB per person for both SIM Card (eSIM) and Pocket Wi-Fi is a reasonable guideline.
It should be assumed that approximately 800 MB will be used per day.
We also suggest that you consider a plan that allows you to use 14 GB per unit over 14 days.
If you're traveling with family or friends and want to share data across multiple devices, Pocket Wi-Fi rental is recommended. It offers cost-effective plans with ample data capacity.
If you're a solo traveler, a SIM card (eSIM) plan with 14GB or more is recommended for a satisfactory experience.
These recommendations are general guidelines, and individual data usage may vary. Consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing between a SIM card (eSIM) and Pocket Wi-Fi.
When using a smartphone during travel, activities such as web browsing, messaging, and using Google Maps are likely to be the primary focus. In such cases, a communication speed of 3-5 Mbps should be sufficient. However, if your stay involves business-related communication through video or if you want to watch videos, you might need a bit more speed.
For reference, here is a data illustrating the ideal internet speeds needed for various activities.
|Online Games||25 Mbps||WiMAX|
|Online Meetings||10 Mbps||Pocket Wi-Fi|
|Video Streaming (1080p)||5 Mbps||Pocket Wi-Fi Prepaid SIM eSIM|
|Video Streaming (720p)||3 Mbps||Pocket Wi-Fi Prepaid SIM eSIM|
|Web /Emails||1 Mbps||Pocket Wi-Fi Prepaid SIM eSIM|
At CDJapan Rental, we offer high school students visiting Japan options like Prepaid SIM cards and eSIMs with large data capacities and fast communication capabilities. Additionally, we provide Pocket Wi-Fi for short to long-term rentals. Many people from different countries have used our services and left numerous positive reviews. Feel free to give it a try when you visit Japan!