NTT DoCoMo announced today the World Walker G-Card, a new smart card that will enable DoCoMo mova 2G subscribers to use both DoCoMo and non-DoCoMo GSM mobile phones for international roaming outside of Japan beginning June 1, 2004.
The World Walker G-Card is a User Identity Module (UIM) smart card equipped with a chip to store the user’s phone number and other data. The user simply inserts the card into any standard GSM mobile phone to make and receive calls using their regular mova phone number while overseas.
DoCoMo-brand GSM phones may be purchased at the DoCoMo Sentsu mova Rental Center.
The existing World Walker Plus international roaming service, which works only with DoCoMo-brand GSM phones, is aimed primarily at subscribers who just wish to rent a GSM phone temporarily. The new World Walker G-Card service, however, is aimed at subscribers who already own a GSM phone or wish to purchase one.
Calls from Japan are received normally and do not require any call transfer setup. When a call is received from Japan, the subscriber pays the international charges and the caller in Japan is only billed for normal domestic charges.
The signup fee for the World Walker G-Card service is 2,100 yen. No monthly charge will be required. Users are charged 105 yen for each day in which an incoming or outgoing call occurs. Communications charges will be same as those of DoCoMo’s current international roaming service.
Users need apply only once, not each time they travel overseas. Application may be made at the official i-mode site (go to i-menu, then click DoCoMo menu and select WORLD WALKER), online (http://worldwalker.nttdocomo.co.jp, Japanese only) or by telephone (0120-68-0200; 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on weekdays or 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays). Application should be completed before leaving Japan to allow time for the card to be delivered. Applications may also be made at DoCoMo World counters at major airports (see attachment), where the applicant can receive their World Walker G-Card card immediately.
NTT DoCoMo also announced that it will reduce the rental cost of DoCoMo-brand mobile phones for World Wing (the 3G FOMA international roaming service) and World Walker Plus.