Mobile Phone Services

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  • AKK
    Member

    Hi peeps,

    Need some advice here.

    Can someone recommend a mobile phone service provider? I would need to be using quite a fair bit of data bundle as I need to reply emails on the go. Would there be any business plans for voice call, emails and web surfing?

    Also, my work permit and visa may not be ready in time. Can I still get a post-paid plan or I’m only allowed to purchase pre-paid sim card?

    Appreciate greatly.

    #8464

    Vincent
    Member

    This thread might help: Getting 3G Internet Access

    #15117

    Charlie
    Moderator

    China Mobile and Unicom are your options, more or less. China Mobile has better service but Unicom is the only provider that offers the iPhone, officially. I’ve been on Unicom for a year and was on China Mobile for years before that and noticed right away that the service wasn’t quite as good as China Mobile (for example, when using charge cards I often got a “busy” message). But Unicom offers iPhone 4 on 3G and that’s all good, the deal they offer on 2 years of service + the phone is a good value.

    Unless you’re getting an iPhone though I think China Mobile would be the preferable option based on my experience.

    #15106

    AKK
    Member

    Seems like there isn’t much of choice if I’m using iPhone. How about android & blackberry? I heard bb is also a monopoly as well?

    #15128

    Chris Ziich
    Moderator

    Don’t know if this helps, but I’m using a Motorola Droid 2 Global (known as the “Milestone” in China) on Unicom. I needed a phone that worked both on Verizon in the US and here in China so this fit the bill. I’m on a 66RMB/mo plan that gives me 300MB/mo.

    You just need to check the bands that the phone runs on. The 3G WCDMA band on China Unicom is 2100Mhz.

    As far as I understand, 3G on China Mobile is very new/still in development/some kind of proprietary technology that limits your phone choices. So for data, Unicom may be the best way to go.

    #15165

    Charlie
    Moderator
    Quote:
    Seems like there isn’t much of choice if I’m using iPhone. How about android & blackberry? I heard bb is also a monopoly as well?

    There are a ton of Android phones available here but Blackberry is starting to fade out. You still see a lot of people with them on the street (and the Nokia Blackberry-lookalikes) but they aren’t selling very many of them. Especially compared to the iPhone which is hanging tough with all Android phones combined, judging by what phones I see people using on the subway and in public places.

    #15167

    I’d recommend a GSM/UMTS unlocked device. Then you can use it on China Unicom here and get 3G data speed. I’ve been very happy with Unicom, experienced no problem at all, with full bars of 3G data services everywhere in Chengdu, including the Metro.

    My only reservation is that it’s hard to believe rural coverage for Unicom is as extensive as for China Mobile, but I have little experience to confirm.

    This is far outweighed by the advantage of been able to still use 3G data services when you visit 95% of other regions.

    #15186

    AKK
    Member

    Guys,

    Thanks a lot. It does seem like there’s only China Mobile or Unicom to choose from. I’m concerned about the 3G coverage as I will be travelling around China as well and wouldn’t want a case that I cannot be using the mobile outta Chengdu or outta China.

    Will be sourcing again next week. Oh…How are the sim cards working with non-China purchased phone? To cut cost, I maybe using the existing phone…LOL

    #15187

    Yes, as most people do I think. if its unlocked and GSM it will work on both, and you’ll get 3G from Unicom.

    Sims are the same here and work fine with non-China purchased phones, in-fact many phones here are that, as they’re grey imports.

    #15188

    Chris Ziich
    Moderator

    provided your phone is unlocked, any phone that can take sim cards should work.

    just note that if you’re not getting an iphone you may have to tinker with your APN settings in order to get 3G data to work. It’s very simple, I did it with my Android phone.

    #15189

    AKK
    Member

    So I can just walk into any shops along the road and check out the prices?

    #15224

    7
    Member

    Yeah, I think my China Mobile SIM cost 85RMB. My wife’s using it in my unlocked iPhone 3GS and I’m curious to see how long it will last before I have to refill it.

    #15246
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