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Japanese phones in Europe


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So I have a little problem I've been dealing with for a while... Touchscreens! :P  I really dislike using them but I'm having a rough time finding a good alternative as I still like a decently sized display, email and some sort of camera. Other than those three things to me a phone's a phone, not a computer or a game console. I should clarify that I'm mostly going to be using the phone in Finland.

I've been looking for a clam phone (they are so fun to play with!) that would fill those needs but it seems that clams are completely abandoned by the major manufacturers :(  I found a neat Blackberry (9670) but I heard it just doesn't work here in Finland. I remembered that in Japan clams are really popular and I started thinking if I should buy one from there! I know they don't often have english UI option but I can deal with japanese UI.


But I'm not exactly an expert with phones and the way they work so I really need help from someone who knows more about phones. I think I need to check some frequencies but I don't know anything about that. I know my country uses 900mhz for GSM and UMTS, 1800mhz for GSM and 2100mhz for UMTS but that's all and I'm not even sure what those mean. GSM is 2G and UMTS 3G right? So would a phone like this work here?

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I am definitely not the correct person to comment on cell-phone usage in different areas of the world, since I basically never travel. As such, I will only quote different sources I can find on the topic. Sadly I can't access the link to that phone.



All of Europe and most of Asia use a GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) network. This is a standard and it enables all phones from any country in Europe or Asia to work across various boarders.

Source: Top Ten Reviews





In Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia, most of the providers use 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands. GSM-900 is most widely used. Fewer operators use DCS-1800 and GSM-1800. A dual-band 900/1800 phone is required to be compatible with almost all operators. At least the GSM-900 band must be supported in order to be compatible with many operators.

Source: Wikipedia




3G phones only:

These countries / territories use 3G service only.  A 3G-capable phone is required. Quad-band, tri-band and dual-band GSM phones WILL NOT work unless they also support 3G:

  • Japan
  • South Korea

Source: GSM Coverage in Various Countries


From that same site: 



All GSM phones except North American dual-band phones:

These countries & territories use, at minimum, GSM 900 and/or 1800 frequencies.  Quad-band, tri-band and Europe/Asia dual-band phones should work in these countries.  North American dual-band phones generally WILL NOT work here:

Finland is listed in the list that follows the statement.



This map seems to indicate cell-phones should work cross-region in Europe-Asia. Japan and South Korea are a different color, which might be because they only provide 3G services?

GSM World Coverage Map



What I would conclude is that as long as your phone has Dual Band support it should work just fine :).

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