Caution: Using cell phones as modem can lead to high bills

  • Published
  • By Capt. Paul M. Gesl
  • 374th Airlift Wing Staff Judge Advocate Office
Using your cell phone to connect your laptop to the Internet can be a very convenient way to stay in touch when you are traveling. Back in the United States, some companies offer unlimited internet connections for a set cost. However things are different in Japan. There are no flat rate connection fees and the fees are also much higher than browsing the Internet right on the phone itself.

A recent newspaper article states that downloading a song will cost the user around $50, while a 100 kbs connection can cost over $600 per hour. Obviously, this adds up quickly, and monthly bills in the thousands of dollars are not unheard of. There are discount plans available, but they do not provide enough credit for a frequent user to avoid a large bill.

While these service agreements can result in very high bills, they are legal. The easiest way to avoid the problem is to not use your cell phone to connect your computer to the Internet. However, if you absolutely must get online, contact your service provider and find out what they charge for connecting to the Internet and whether a discount plan is available.

A little research now can save you a lot of financial difficulty later. If you have used these services in the past and now have a large bill, make an appointment for legal assistance at the base legal office to discuss options. The phone number is 225-8069.