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prion (Offline)
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Default 15-12-2006, 23:36

Some info about China prepaid from someone who has recently been there (from another forum).

China mobile prepaid (Shen2 Zhou1 Xing2 SIM Ka3, 神州行 SIM 卡)are the most common and are used by most foreigners in China. The cost of it initially is 60-100 Yuan (~6euro-10euro) and has 50 Yuan in prepaid credit(~5euro). Incoming charges apply which are more if you travel outside the city where your number is based. Generally tarifs are cheap, cheaper than many other countries

Stands where China mobile prepaid cards are to be found in the airport ( in the Capital) and cost approximately 100 Yuan (~10 euros)
   
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Default 21-12-2006, 02:33

Ok... I'm in China now, I've bought myself a China Mobile SIM and am trying to understand the tariff.


Here's some data about the networks:

China Mobile
Frequency: GSM 900/1800
Net Code: 460-00
Logo: China Mobile, CMCC
Prefixes: 134 to 139

China Unicom
Frequency: GSM 900/1800
Net Code: 460-01
Logo: China Unicom, CHN-CUGSM
Prefixes: 130, 131 and 133

Interestingly I've also picked up a third network using the code 460-36, however I have no idea what it is nor can I log on to it with any of my SIMs.


Now about the China Mobile prepaid offer:

- Buying a SIM card is easy, you don't need any ID or whatever.
- At the airport it costed me 130 RMB, including 50 RMB of credit.
- SIM cards are linked to a specific city (so be sure to get one for the city you'll mainly be staying at).
- however you don't get a local number, all mobile number's start with (+86)13.
- I haven't figured out whether there are different plans, these are the charges on my plan anyway.
- Local calls (within your city) 0,13 RMB/min.
- Long distance calls 0,30 RMB/min.
- For international calls there are several prefixes, depending on which of them you use and where you're calling the charges are different. The seller at the airport helped me active a special option and said that with it I could make calls to i.e. Western Europe for 1,2 RMB/min when using the 12593 prefix.
- Receiving calls within your city is free of charge (no matter from where), elsewhere in China it'll cost you something
- Texts (worldwide) cost 1 RMB


About United Mobile: it doesn't work here. I logs onto the China Unicom network, however with the exclamation mark that indicates limited connection on Siemens mobiles. I can neither make nor receive any calls.


Active Prepaid SIMs: United Mobile; (RC) China Mobile; (USA) TYo; (D) Loop, Callya, Simyo; (A) Klax; (I) Wind; (B) Ay Yildiz
Former Prepaid SIMs: (RC) IF; (D) Free&Easy, Xtra; (A) Yesss; (UK) Pay&Go; (E) Movistar; (IS) Frelsi
Mobiles in use: Sagem my101X, Siemens M50, Nokia 6800, Siemens M65, Motorola E770, Samsung SGH-Z500, Nokia 9500
Previous Mobiles: Nokia 5130, Motorola V3688, Sagem myX-1, Siemens M55, NEC e313, SonyEricsson T200, Motorola V980, Siemens C45, Motorola V600
   
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Default 21-12-2006, 12:32

Thanks for the information about China Mobile prepaid offer. If you discover how much is for the incoming calls outside the selected zone it would be perfect.


Working Prepaids: IT: Wind, Vodafone IT, UNO Mobile; SM: Prima; UK: 3, Virgin; INT: TravelSIM, Truphone.
Deceased Prepaids: CZ: Oskar, Eurotel; SK: Orange; DE: E-Plus, Aldi, Simyo; GE: Geocell; AM: Armentel; PL: Heyah, Plus; LT: Tele2; LV: Amigo; EE: Elisa; UA: Kyivstar; NZ: Vodafone; INT: UM, UM+, ICQSim.
GSM/3G Phones: Nokia Lumia 630 dual sim
   
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Default 22-12-2006, 00:27

BTW, isn't there any way to edit your previous posts anymore? All right, I'll just start a new one.

Anyway, my Chinese isn't that good (and particually I'm not used to the unconventional short form of characters here), but, as far as I can tell:

- the name of the prepaid offer is "神州行暢聽卡", pronounced Shenzhouxing Changtingka, abbrevated SH.
- incoming calls cost outside your home region are at 0,60 RMB/min. as well.
- initial credit validity is 120 days, when recharging you get: 50 RMB -> 90 days, 100 RMB -> 180 days, 300 RMB -> 360 days and 500 RMB -> 360 days, up to a maximum of 720 days.
- you can use WAP, possibly GPRS too, though I haven't found out how or how much it costs
- the credit server (checking balance, recharging &c.) is located at 10086, when entering the menu for the first time you are asked whether you want it in Chinese or English. However the English pronounciation is quite bad. Other that that, it'll cost you some money to access it too.
- when actived the PIN control is offline, you standard PIN is 1234.
- you can also inquire about your card online, at www.sh.chinamobile.com, you'll need your telephone number and your 6-digit online PIN to login. However the entire website is Chinese.
- when dialing within your home city you can dial directly without the city prefix, when calling a mobile you start with 13...

One word about China Unicom: their tariffs seem mostly quite similar to China Mobile's, the package costs 130 RMB as well and includes 62 RMB of credit.


Active Prepaid SIMs: United Mobile; (RC) China Mobile; (USA) TYo; (D) Loop, Callya, Simyo; (A) Klax; (I) Wind; (B) Ay Yildiz
Former Prepaid SIMs: (RC) IF; (D) Free&Easy, Xtra; (A) Yesss; (UK) Pay&Go; (E) Movistar; (IS) Frelsi
Mobiles in use: Sagem my101X, Siemens M50, Nokia 6800, Siemens M65, Motorola E770, Samsung SGH-Z500, Nokia 9500
Previous Mobiles: Nokia 5130, Motorola V3688, Sagem myX-1, Siemens M55, NEC e313, SonyEricsson T200, Motorola V980, Siemens C45, Motorola V600
   
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Default 23-12-2006, 17:10

Ok... it get's a little bit more complicated:

- "Shenzhouxing Changtingka" was wrong, it should say "Shenzhouhang Changtingka"
- incoming call from other mobiles cost 0,60 RMB/min, for calls from fixed networks you have to pay 1,30 RMB/min. though
- both network use GSM 900 and 1800
- China Mobile's prefixes are 134 to 139, not just 134 and 139
- you can't automatically call abroad, this function has to be activated first, if possible at a China Mobile store, otherwise you can try to this at 10086
- International Roaming is not possible (unless you meet certain conditions, one of them is having been a customers for at least a year)

Now, about data calls: GPRS is possible and automatically enabled.
for WAP use these settings: APN=cmwap and IP=10.0.0.172
for Internet access: APN=cmnet
It'll cost you 0,03 RMB/kb.

There are also two monthly options, one will give you 10 MB for 5 RMB, the other 50 MB for 20 RMB. After that you pay 0,01RMB/kb.
However I haven't quite figured out the other conditions for this option or how to activated it.


About that third network: 460-36 broadcasts in the upper EGSM bands and seems to operate only a mere handful of stations. Wikipedia lists several operators in China (without the MNC though), so I have no idea who this network belongs to...


Active Prepaid SIMs: United Mobile; (RC) China Mobile; (USA) TYo; (D) Loop, Callya, Simyo; (A) Klax; (I) Wind; (B) Ay Yildiz
Former Prepaid SIMs: (RC) IF; (D) Free&Easy, Xtra; (A) Yesss; (UK) Pay&Go; (E) Movistar; (IS) Frelsi
Mobiles in use: Sagem my101X, Siemens M50, Nokia 6800, Siemens M65, Motorola E770, Samsung SGH-Z500, Nokia 9500
Previous Mobiles: Nokia 5130, Motorola V3688, Sagem myX-1, Siemens M55, NEC e313, SonyEricsson T200, Motorola V980, Siemens C45, Motorola V600
   
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Default 10-01-2007, 12:51

Although I live in China (originally from Britain) i'm not sure I have much to add to the expert stuff outlined above. However one problem I came across was when I tried topping up my pay-as-you-go China Unicom card. I was visiting Beijing one time and bought a card but I was unable to use it as you have to buy a card in the city your number is from. For me this would have meant a 3 hour flight south west!! After many hours trying to sort this out (customer service is extremely low here) the best they could do was promise a refund of the money and suggested I call a friend in the city where I live and get them to add the number.

My card is supposed to be a national number and I can use it anywhere I have been in China but I can only top it up in my city. So if you are travelling in China plan for this.
   
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Default 10-01-2007, 12:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by pool31 View Post
My card is supposed to be a national number and I can use it anywhere I have been in China but I can only top it up in my city.


PS: Welcome and thank you for your feedback from China!


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"Deceased" PrePaids: IT: Blu - AT: H3G - FR: Itineris - ES: Yoigo - GR: Cosmote, Frog - HR: Tele2 - UK: Virgin, Orange TO: UCall - NZ: Vodafone - IN: Hutch - CAN: Fido - USA: T-Mobile - INT: Travelfone, CallKey, Globalsim, HopMobile, GT, 09, Mobal, Yackiemobile

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Gryphone (Offline)
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Default 10-01-2007, 19:36

I'm not completely satisfied with the above report yet and I'll be writing a revised version within a few days, with hopefully correcting most of the errors.


Active Prepaid SIMs: United Mobile; (RC) China Mobile; (USA) TYo; (D) Loop, Callya, Simyo; (A) Klax; (I) Wind; (B) Ay Yildiz
Former Prepaid SIMs: (RC) IF; (D) Free&Easy, Xtra; (A) Yesss; (UK) Pay&Go; (E) Movistar; (IS) Frelsi
Mobiles in use: Sagem my101X, Siemens M50, Nokia 6800, Siemens M65, Motorola E770, Samsung SGH-Z500, Nokia 9500
Previous Mobiles: Nokia 5130, Motorola V3688, Sagem myX-1, Siemens M55, NEC e313, SonyEricsson T200, Motorola V980, Siemens C45, Motorola V600
   
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Default uni-crap - 16-01-2007, 06:20

ok to be fair their cdma network is ok for data, coverage is not to shabby.
But their gsm sim card rates are horrible. no promotions, and seldom
to give discounts for things. In comming calls are not free unless
you paid either 12/16 rmb a month for the privilege and getting
good customer service from the pack of wild rabid servlets are
challenging at best... just get the china mobile sim card.
it just works.

a.
   
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Gryphone (Offline)
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Default China Mobile prepaid offer - 24-01-2007, 00:46

So, here's the (hopefully) final version of my report.
Most importantly: credit server (10086) is free of charge


General Information
  • The name of the prepaid offer is "神州行暢聽卡", pronounced Shenzhouxing Changtingka.
  • Buying a SIM card is easy, you don't need any ID or whatever.
  • SIM cards are linked to a specific city or province (so be sure to get one for the city you'll mainly be staying at), however you don't get a local number, all mobile number's start with (+86)13.
  • It costs 100 to 130 RMB, including 50 RMB of credit.
  • When actived the SIM-PIN control is offline, your standard SIM-PIN is 1234.
  • There is a 6-digit PIN on a seperate card within your package, you'll need this for some service (see below).

Plans
  • There are several plans depending on the city (or province), usually there is one which offers you free incoming calls for a monthly charge (16 RMB in Shanghai), the call charges are as following:
  • Local calls (within your city) 0,13 RMB/min.
  • Long distance calls 0,30 RMB/min.
  • For international calls there are several prefixes, depending on which of them you use and where you're calling the charges are different. One of them is 12593, using it you can make calls to i.e. Western Europe for 1,2 RMB/min when using the 12593 prefix.
  • Receiving calls within your city is free of charge (no matter from where), elsewhere in China incoming calls from other mobiles cost 0,60 RMB/min, for calls from fixed networks you have to pay 1,30 RMB/min.
  • Texts (worldwide) cost 1 RMB
  • Initial credit validity is 120 days, when recharging you get: 50 RMB -> 90 days, 100 RMB -> 180 days, 300 RMB -> 360 days and 500 RMB -> 360 days, up to a maximum of 720 days.
  • Debiting is by the minute (60/60)

Other services
  • the credit server (checking balance, recharging &c.) is located at 10086, when entering the menu for the first time you are asked whether you want it in Chinese or English. However the English pronounciation is quite bad.
  • you can also inquire about your card online, there are websites for each city, i.e. Peking or Shanghai, you'll need your telephone number and your PIN to login. However the entire website is Chinese.
  • when dialing within your home city you can dial directly without the city prefix, when calling a mobile you start with 13...
  • you can't automatically call abroad, this function has to be activated first, if possible at a China Mobile store (bring your PIN), otherwise you can try to this at 10086
  • International Roaming is not possible (unless you meet certain conditions, one of them is having been a customers for at least a year)

Data calls
  • GPRS is possible and automatically enabled.
  • for WAP use these settings: APN=cmwap and IP=10.0.0.172
  • for Internet access: APN=cmnet
  • It'll cost you 0,03 RMB/kb.
  • There are also two monthly options, one will give you 10 MB for 5 RMB, the other 50 MB for 20 RMB. After that you pay 0,01RMB/kb.
  • You can activate this options either on the internet page or in a store (be sure to bring your PIN)


Active Prepaid SIMs: United Mobile; (RC) China Mobile; (USA) TYo; (D) Loop, Callya, Simyo; (A) Klax; (I) Wind; (B) Ay Yildiz
Former Prepaid SIMs: (RC) IF; (D) Free&Easy, Xtra; (A) Yesss; (UK) Pay&Go; (E) Movistar; (IS) Frelsi
Mobiles in use: Sagem my101X, Siemens M50, Nokia 6800, Siemens M65, Motorola E770, Samsung SGH-Z500, Nokia 9500
Previous Mobiles: Nokia 5130, Motorola V3688, Sagem myX-1, Siemens M55, NEC e313, SonyEricsson T200, Motorola V980, Siemens C45, Motorola V600

Last edited by Gryphone; 24-01-2007 at 01:02..
   
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