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so, I finally got a post paid SIM

so, I finally got a post paid SIM

Old Aug 31, 06, 3:31 am
  #1  
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so, I finally got a post paid SIM

My colleagues and I have been doing the pre-paid thing for a very long time, in part due to laziness and in part due to a fear of the post paid application process.

But, several days ago, a friend sent me the following link, which explains the benefits of post paid (not that I didn't already know), but I needed some prodding.

http://www.shanghaiist.com/archives/...nghaiist_6.php

So yesterday, I marched into the China Mobile office near my house with the goal of inquiring only (I was prepared to be given a check list of 10+ difficult to obtain documents).

But, much to my surprise, I left with a new SIM card in hand 40 minutes later.

The ONLY documentation you need is a passport. You also need y550 (50 for the card and 500 for the deposit). They accept ATM cards and maybe credit cards as well.

Here's how it works:

-You enter your passport number into an terminal that looks like an ATM.
-The you get to choose from around 500 numbers. Interestingly, none of them had any 8's. On the flip side, they were also devoid of the dreaded 4.
-The numbers are roughly in sequence so it wasn't that hard to find a good one. For those that are curious, I settled on 139110792927.
-Then the machine spits out a piece of paper with the new number.
-Then you need to take a number and wait in line (it would have speeded things up if I had taken the number before selecting a phone number).
-Once it's your turn, you step up to the counter and a China Mobile employee does the rest. I'm not sure exactly what the employee was doing at his computer, but the process took around 30 minutes and there were many forms to sign.

The good news is that the savings have already begun. For y168 per month, I get 700 minutes and minutes beyond that are 60% cheaper than Shenzhouxing minutes.

What's more, if I know I'm going to be gone for 1 month or more, I can suspend service.

I think post paid makes sense for anyone that spends more than 15 days per year in China, assuming your phone usage is relatively heavy. To elaborate further, in 15 days, I spend y500 on air time. Now, I'm looking at ~y3000 per year (I'm factoring in long distance calls here). But, the 15-day visitor would spend considerably less, of course.

In any case, I think the 45 minutes of waiting was well worth it.
moondog is offline  
Old Aug 31, 06, 9:49 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Roaming

Moondog

I'd be interested to hear re advantages if any for this post paid vs pre-paid when calling overseas, eg SE Asia, HK, Taiwan and states.

Also, someone recently posted re using the 17951 access code to save on long distance (domestic China and international) roaming calls. If you use this, I assume no difference post vs pre paid?
dtsm is offline  
Old Aug 31, 06, 10:02 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Originally Posted by moondog
I think post paid makes sense for anyone that spends more than 15 days per year in China, assuming your phone usage is relatively heavy.
But (and this is a very large but), I've been told that a permanent address in China is needed. If so, then this won't work for the leisure traveller, nor for the frequent business visitor unless s/he has an address to borrow.

Peter N-H
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Old Aug 31, 06, 11:57 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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I will only be in Guangzhou for about 9 days up coming. Its about $1.50 a minute I think on my Verizon mobile phone. I usually spend about 100 minutes on the phone with home. Should I get a phone while I'm there for local calls and calls back home to Tennessee? Would it be cheaper if I wanted to talk say about 500 minutes to Tennessee from Guangzhou?
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Old Aug 31, 06, 12:53 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Local SIMS

Originally Posted by TNvols
I will only be in Guangzhou for about 9 days up coming. Its about $1.50 a minute I think on my Verizon mobile phone. I usually spend about 100 minutes on the phone with home. Should I get a phone while I'm there for local calls and calls back home to Tennessee? Would it be cheaper if I wanted to talk say about 500 minutes to Tennessee from Guangzhou?
This has been discussed before numerous times....a careful search will give more details.

FYI, short summary below:

Local SIMS cost about RMB$120 which includes RMB$100 of airtime. Don't recall exact per minute cost to call home but certainly less than US$1.50 on verizon (and that's assuming your verizon non-gsm phone will work?).

Also, someone recently posted a cheap mobile access number that brings down international calls even further:

17951 will only work on a cell phone. The saving is actually rather significant. Calls from a cell phone to USA/Canada was RMB 8.00/min. With 17951, it's only RMB 2.40/min.

Assuming 100 minutes use to call home @1.50, that $150 vs. investment of less than $15 for new SIMS and if 17951 works, each minute less than $0.40/minute..... Plus of course when you make local calls, cost is pennies vs. dialing on your verizon account which is essentially a long distance call?
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Old Aug 31, 06, 2:12 pm
  #6  
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Wifi Phones

The new Wifi phones would offer free calls as long as you are calling
a SKYPE account.
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Old Aug 31, 06, 3:19 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by anacapamalibu
The new Wifi phones would offer free calls as long as you are calling
a SKYPE account.
I recently purchaed a Nokia N90 phone with the hopes of accomplishing what you suggested. Unfortunately, the N90 usese the Symbian OS, which is currently unsuppoted by Skype and Yahoo. I have a friend that uses some fancy Treo product and he has had better results.

As for 17951, it works just fine, but the numbers aren't any more attractive than pre paid.

Peter N-H, a passport and cash are the only prerequisites. I brought along a residence permit, just in case, but they never looked at it.

The main benfit of post paid, is that you save tons on your in-country calls.
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Old Sep 1, 06, 8:01 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Macau, Hong Kong, Shanghai
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Originally Posted by moondog
...On the flip side, they were also devoid of the dreaded 4.
They are the punishment when you get prepaid cards. Especially in Hong Kong
The most expensive number I saw for sale in Shanghai was a sequence with 51725 (sounds like "Wo yao qi ai wo", I want that my wife loves me)

I have a postpaid card since years, but with the green residenbts card in shanghai.
By the way, they now have a special Tarif where you can use your phone all over China without paying roaming charges in other provinces. It takes a single call to the company. If someone is interrested, I will ask what we did to achieve that.
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