Free Wi-Fi will be partially closed on trains – Tokyo Metro reduces services for foreigners

Tokyo Metro will discontinue some of the Wi-Fi services that it has provided mainly to foreigners visiting Japan on their trains without renewing the contract with the telecommunications carrier.

Tokyo Metro type 1000 EMU at Shibuya station on the Ginza Line (Katsumi/TOKYO STUDIO)
Tokyo Metro type 1000 EMU at Shibuya station on the Ginza Line (Katsumi/TOKYO STUDIO)

Now Wi-Fi is ready on all trains…

Tokyo Metro’s free Wi-Fi service, which started in the premises of major stations to improve the convenience of foreign visitors to Japan, has been expanded to all stations (excluding some stations managed by other operators) by June 2016. Furthermore, starting with type 1000 EMU on the Ginza Line in December 2016, they have promoted the introduction Wi-Fi service on their trains, and in the summer of 2020, all rolling stocks owned by Tokyo Metro were equipped with Wi-Fi.

Under such circumstances, the free Wi-Fi service “Metro_Free_Wi-FI” on the trains will end on June 30, 2022 (Thu), that have been provided by Tokyo Metro for tourists. With the expiration of the contract period with NTT Broadband Platform (NTTBP, head office: Chiyoda City, Tokyo), automatic connection from smartphone apps such as “Japan Wi-Fi auto-connect” provided by them will be also impossible. In addition, the Wi-Fi service “d Wi-Fi” by NTT DOMOMO (Headquarters: Chiyoda City, Tokyo) will also be discontinued on the trains.

The above services will continue to be available in the Tokyo Metro stations. On the other hand, the free Wi-Fi “TRAVEL JAPAN Wi-Fi” for tourists and the paid Wi-Fi “Wi2 300” provided by Wire and Wireless (Headquarters: Chu City, Tokyo) will be continuosly provided on the trains (see the figure below for details).

Tokyo Metro partially terminate free Wi-Fi on trains

Regarding Wi-Fi services by public transportation, the provision of free Wi-Fi for tourists on the Toei Bus ended in November 2021, that has been provided by the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation. As with Tokyo Metro, they said because the contract period with the provider (NTTBP) has expired. As inbound demand continues to be sluggish due to the effects of the COVID-19, transportation operators are forced to choose whether to maintain services for foreigners.

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