Japanese mobile phones - why can't I SMS them?

Hope you can understand the question - I’m not really sure what the terms people outside Australia use.

Anyway, I, using the Optus network here, can send text messages to my friends in Malaysia, but not those in Japan. I’ve got the number right (we can call each other), but it refuses to send messages.

So, what’s the problem, and is there anything I can do about it, short of actually moving to Japan and signing on to a Japanese network?

I don’t think the Japanese phones are compatible with any non-Japanese networks (with a couple of minor exceptions). Most of them can receive e-mail though, can’t you just use that?

At work we used to use the phrase “except in Japan”. I have a Nokia tri-band that works everywhere in the world - except in Japan. My ATM card works in every country I have traveled to - except in Japan.

Well, if nothing can be done about it…

Email would work for my friend, but in order for me to send or receive anything, I’ll have to go home to my computer.

I think an American ATM card will work at a Japanese branch of Citibank, but other than that I’ve had my ATM card rejected by every other bank’s system.

FWIW, I live in Tokyo and use a J-Phone unit (with built in digital camera - :stuck_out_tongue: ) and I cannot SMS other companies units - DoCoMo, AU, Tuka, etc. Only users on my J-Phone network.

SMS is incompatible between the networks. Phone to Phone email works great, but not SMS.

Go Figure.