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Author Topic: Cell phone for trip to China  (Read 1847 times)

mwb1100

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Cell phone for trip to China
« on: March 18, 2012, 02:50:40 PM »
I'm planning a trip to China in a few months, and my understanding is that my Verizon cell phone won't work in China (or if it does, it'll cost $1.50 per minute or more).

The little bit of research I've done indicates that I should be able to rent or buy a used GSM phone pretty inexpensively. But I find it unclear *exactly* what I'd need to buy (and I'd rather have the phones in-hand before I leave instead of waiting until I arrive, though any necessary SIM cards can probably wait until we arrive).

I'm also told that I can repurpose a T-Mobile phone by putting in a SIM card that I buy in China.  Will any of the pre-paid phones I can get here in the US (T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile USA, whatever) do that?  Are any of them GSM phones?

I really find all this cell-phone stuff confusing (I understand it's much simpler and cheaper outside the USA) - all I'd like is to be able to get two cell phones that I can use in China that won't break the bank.  I don't need the phones to have any internet connectivity or anything else fancy. I just want to be able to make & take phone calls.  In case it matters, we'll be visiting Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai.

Any suggestions or pointers?

cyberdiva

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Re: Cell phone for trip to China
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2012, 03:20:56 PM »
Several years ago, my husband bought a new 4-band unlocked GSM phone from a company called Mobal.  It works everywhere.  I think he paid about $40 or $50.  They sent it to him, and it came with a SIM card for England that had an expensive rate but is nice to have "just in case."  He doesn't use that SIM card; as soon as we arrive in a country, my husband buys a SIM card for that country for $5 or $10.  It gives us an in-country phone number and the ability to make calls at the in-country rate, which is usually quite low.  It has worked very well for us.

I can't answer any of your other questions, but you may want to take a look at Mobal's web site: http://www.mobal.com/.

4wd

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Re: Cell phone for trip to China
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2012, 06:27:05 PM »
I have an old Nokia 1100w Dual band GSM, (850/1900), that worked fine in Hong Kong.  An old Nokia 6230iw Tri-band, (900/1800/1900), worked fine in Beijing/HK/Russia/EU/Sth Africa, (and should work in the USA).

You can have the Nokia 6230i if you want, I no longer use it - I'd have to send it sans battery, (Auspost rules), but they're the readily available Nokia BL-5C.  Let me know and I'll test it, (hasn't been used for a few months), and wipe the incriminating evidence.  I'll even throw in the 32MB MMC card it came with.

Otherwise, the Kings of Gadgets have you covered :)

Dual SIM Dual Network Standby Quadband GSM
LCD Screen Quadband GSM Cell Phone with Torch/FM/SOS