Tokyo >> Kanagawa Prefecture will test a free smartphone rental service for foreign tourists from mid-February to the end of March.
The prefecture plans to provide unlimited 4G network service access through 300 smartphones it will make available at five tourist information centers in Yokohama, Kamakura and Hakone.
Foreign visitors to Kanagawa can check out the smartphones for free for up to three days and will have unlimited access to the internet, free international and domestic calls, and local tourist information available in 15 languages, including English.
“Tourists also face some technical difficulties as each Wi-Fi service has a different way of signing up,” said Mari Kuroda, an international tourism official.
Besides providing a better network environment, Kanagawa’s secondary goal behind offering the free service is to gather information on the routes foreign visitors choose by using the GPS functions in the phones to track their movements.