Home Order Online China Cell Phone Rental China SIM Card Airtime Recharge BlackBerry Rental Promotion Contact Us
 
 
PandaPhone Clients List
  • Australian Sports Commission
  • Greece Special Olympic Supporting Team
  • specialolymplics.org
  • ussoccer.com
  • Arizona State University
  • Baylor University
  • Cal State San Marcos
  • College of Medicine USF
  • Drexel University
  • Hope College
 
Three ways for inexpensive Cellular Service in China
 
 
 
 

Way 1: You could rent a cell phone for China through a cellular service rental agency or, with the right phone; you could roam with your current provider.

Way 2: Roam with your current cell phone provider, such as Sprint, T-Mobile or AT&T.

Way 3: The third and less-known alternative allows you to pay the rates that the 200 million local Chinese cell phone users pay.

 
 
 
 
  International cellular service has typically been a challenge for overseas travelers and China is no exception.
Until recently, cell phone service has been poor, coverage has been sparse and, especially for the foreign tourist or businessman, rates have been astronomical.
However, in just a few years China's 1.3 billion population has helped the country become the world's biggest mobile phone market with nearly 200 million subscribers (the U.S., which is in second place, has approximately 150 million). This huge market accounts for about one-fourth of the world's cellular phone sales. The “superstar” we must mention is “China Mobile Communication”, which accounts for about two-third of the China's cellular service sales.
This is good news not only for the local residents, but also for foreigners going to China. Not only is there exceptional quality and coverage, but the cell phone calling rates are low enough that virtually anyone going to China can afford the security and convenience of having a cell phone. However, in order to take advantage of these affordable rates you have to carefully choose your options.
Traditionally, there have been a number of cellular options available for those travelling to China. You could rent a cell phone for China through a cellular service rental agency or, with the right phone; you could roam with your current provider. Both of these options are inexpensive with per minute rates hovering toward $3 and $4 dollars per minute for incoming and outgoing calls. With these rates, only the well-heeled tourist or the businessman, who cannot afford to be without a cell phone, could permit the luxury of having cellular communication in China.
Despite the high costs, renting a cell phone for use in China has been the most popular choice for most travelers. It works like this, you rent a cell phone through one of the many rental companies, for example, one at most international airports, sign a contract and pay for the handset rental plus per minute usage. There is usually a minimum daily or weekly usage required, meaning that even if you don't use the phone, you are still paying for airtime. Once you return from your trip you drop off or send back the phone to the rental company. Your bill will appear on your next credit card statement. Once you receive your bill one of two things happen, you either give the bill to your company's accountant for reimbursement and jump for joy that you just accrued 2,000 points or, if it's on your dime, you slowly yet deliberately proceed to rip your hair out of your head.
The second most popular option has been to roam with your current cell phone provider, such as Sprint, T-Mobile or AT&T. Unless you have a tri-band GSM phone, they will need to provide you one by either renting or selling you the handset. While methods vary, typically you need to subscribe to the service, sometimes paying annual subscription fees. Per minute usage fees are comparable with a cellular rental. The advantage is that you get to retain your US or Canadian cell phone number. The disadvantage is that you have to retain your US or Canadian cell phone number (which means that anyone and everyone will be calling you, without realizing that you are paying a few bucks a minute for the call). Once you return from the trip you either return the phone to your service provider or if it is a tri-band, worldwide compatible phone, you do nothing. You will be billed on your regular cell phone bill (please see above for recommended ensuing reactions).
The third and less-known alternative allows you to pay the rates that the 200 million local Chinese cell phone users pay. These rates are approximately 10 cents per minute for local calls and from $0.60 to $1.00 per minute to call back to the US or receive calls, depending on what time of the day you use call. It works like this, you either purchase or rent a China compatible cell phone and then you purchase what is known as a SIM card for China. You need both in order to have cellular service. Think of it this way, even if you have a car, you still need to buy gas in order to drive it. The SIM card is the “brain” of the phone and is what allows you to make and receive calls, allows you to have a Chinese cell phone number and tracks cellular usage. As it is prepaid, there is no need to sign a contract nor do you receive a bill. If you need to add more talk time, you simply purchase a recharge voucher. You can “recharge ” your phone by inserting the unique 18 digit pin number directly into the handset, press send and the phone is automatically credited with more call credit. The SIM card slips into the phone (usually underneath the battery) and is automatically activated once you place your first call. If you purchase the handset, bear in mind that it will work in every country in the world except for Japan. Next time you take a trip, even if it's to another country, you will only need to insert a SIM card for that country.
Whether you are traveling to large cities like Beijing or Macau or through the rural countryside, the system works the same way. You may purchase the SIM card and rent or purchase the cell phone through www.pandaphone.com prior to your departure, that way, not only will you be able to give out your cell phone number prior to your trip but you can use your phone as soon as you step off of the plane.
Finally, cellular service for China that is accessible and affordable to anyone, including 200 million Chinese. Coverage is throughout the country and the digital quality is virtually flawless. And better yet, you get to retain your head of hair.
 
Related Links:

China Visa
Chinese Culture
China Airport
China Restaurant
China Trade Show

 
 
 
 
Home About Us Site Map Link to Us All About China Links Expoblog
©1999-2007, PandaPhone.com Corporation. All rights reserved