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Author Topic: Cell phone for trip to China  (Read 1624 times)
mwb1100
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« 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?
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cyberdiva
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« 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/.
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4wd
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« 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 smiley

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