September 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm #8294
Ok so I tried to sign up for 3G on my iPhone today at China Mobile. I don’t speak a word of Chinese and nobody at the shop could speak English. My attempt of repeating “san G” and pointing at my phone was fruitless. They just stared at me.
After a while some lady with a scared look gave me a blank piece of paper and a pen. Very kind, but I had no idea what to do with it. I eventually gave them my phone number so they could access my file.
Finally they called somebody who could translate. It took me about 5 minutes to explain that I simply wanted to enable 3G on my device. She said (without asking anything about my device) that it’s impossible for my iPhone, that I had to buy a Chinese device, and then she gave me an address of some place where they could help me (wtf). What is this nonsense?
I have an account which I have to recharge every once in a while, do I need a different type? (in Belgium you can’t have internet with a prepaid sim)
Besides of going back with a translator, any tips or advice? I hate the fact I need someone to hold my hand everytime I have to get some stuff done…September 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm #13315
Also, what does it cost? I need about 500mb of monthly data. What about 3G on an iPad?September 11, 2011 at 2:53 pm #13317BenModerator
China Mobile’s 3G network uses their proprietary TD-SCDMA standard, so isn’t comparable with any imported devices. The only choice you have is China Unicom.September 11, 2011 at 2:57 pm #13318
Ok lol now it starts to make sense. I thought she was trying to scam me by making me buy a phone from her friend or something hahah.
Is it possible to switch to Unicom and keep my number?
Also, any differences between Mobile/Unicom I should know about?September 12, 2011 at 1:25 am #13320
I don’t know anything about it, but let me know how it goes as I will probably try & get 3G service for my iPad once I get there.September 13, 2011 at 10:31 am #13324taihaoleMember
Hey Vincent, I just got 3G working on my iPhone as well as on my iPad with China Unicom last week. I was lucky enough to go there with a local, otherwise no one would have understood me. Unfortunately I can not give you any specific details because even the local could not really explain the exact contract/prepaid plan thing to me but meant it would suit my needs. And after 1.5 hours spending in the shop and listening to them yelling at each other I was just too annoyed and said whatever it costs, I take it..
As far as I understood, once the internet connection is not working anymore, I have to go to a China Unicom store to recharge my account. And although my contract (or whatever it is) lasts for a year, if I quit it earlier it shouldn’t be a problem. Oh and I have to pay the SIM card (of course) and something else (I think a month or two) in advance. Such a hassle I tell you..September 14, 2011 at 8:18 am #13337KopiKopiMember
Does China Unicorn have USB sticks for 3G on your laptop?September 14, 2011 at 9:09 am #13342SaschaParticipant
yes they do have that service, 3G sticks for laptops, I can find out more info for you in a bit, my wife has that info. Unless someone else has it in their head? I used it in the countryside and it worked very well.September 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm #13348
What I notice a lot of people using are 3G receivers that create a wifi network. So you have this small device with LED lights on it that’s accessing the internet from anywhere via 3G and then creating a wifi network that you can connect to. I notice a lot of people using these to get 3G access on their wifi-only iPads. That might be an option for someone who doesn’t use 3G very often.
Although if anyone is considering 3G for an iPhone, I highly recommend you go ahead and do that since so much of iPhone’s functionality is internet-based. I use my iPhone so often for non-phone related tasks that my main problem is running out of batteries by the end of a long day.September 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm #13350JerrySParticipant
Is the G3 stick reliable in China? I might get one for my laptop. During breaks at work, ill just pop it in and use it to check on trades. Is that or get an android tablet. Just need to be able to see trades with reliable internet service.September 14, 2011 at 11:46 pm #13354
You can also create a wifi network with some smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy and iPhone (jailbroken). Don’t know about other android phones but I guess it can’t be hard to find out.
So if you have an iPhone and get 3G, you can send out a wifi signal to your laptop while connecting your phone to it so it recharges. Cause it’s a real battery drainer for sure. But you won’t need to carry an extra device around.September 15, 2011 at 3:32 am #13355
iPhone can do that without being jailbroken, it’s in Settings and it’s called “Personal Hotspot”September 15, 2011 at 4:52 am #13360
Eh? Is that a new feature on iOS5 or something? I’ve never seen that before. Just checked and I don’t have it on 4.3.3.
Or is it a China-iPhone-only thing? 🙂September 15, 2011 at 4:55 am #13361
It’s on my US iPhone 4 under Settings -> General -> Network. Of course Verizon & AT&T charge you extra for it. :-/September 15, 2011 at 4:58 am #13362
It’s available here (China Unicom) at no extra charge, I have an iPhone 4 and it’s in the settings. Really handy feature to have.September 15, 2011 at 5:12 am #13364KopiKopiMember
Do phones in China use SIM cards? Are they GSM or CDMA? I have both types, need to know which to bring.September 15, 2011 at 10:04 am #13371Chris ZiichModerator
All phones in China use SIM cards. China Mobile supports GSM phones and China Unicom supports WCDMA phones (iphone).September 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm #13380
So, is China Telecom yet another provider? I’ve seen lots of blog posts in the last day or so that they are doing a big launch for the iPhone 5 and will begin taking pre-orders at the end of the month.September 16, 2011 at 5:44 am #13394
Yeah, China Telecom is the third mobile carrier in China. I don’t think I know anyone who has their cell phone on China Telecom, but they have the best ADSL internet service in the city.
Most people are on China Mobile unless they have an iPhone on 3G in which case they’re on China Unicom.
More info on Wikipedia here: Telecommunications Industry in ChinaSeptember 16, 2011 at 6:12 am #13397
Wait a minute, if you have GSM (and not CDMA) you can get 3G mobile internet at China Mobile? Because I’m 100% sure I have a Belgian iPhone 4 GSM version.
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