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cellphone for limited use

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new york, ny
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435 posts
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cellphone for limited use

I want to have a cellphone in Wuhan and Beijing for use in emergency situations, such as getting lost and if my travelling partner and I get separated. It will not be used for international calls or internet. Is it best to bring my cellphone and buy a SIM in China? If so, where can I buy a reliable one and how much should it cost? Is there a better alternative?

Sherbrooke, Canada
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1. Re: cellphone for limited use

If only for emergency you may as well just bring your existing phone. Just make sure you turn off data roaming if you have data on this phone.

You can buy a basic SIM card if your phone is unlocked (I guess you need one for your partner as well). When you land in Beijing buy one from China Telecom. Buy the cheapest one which is 20RMB plus whatever credit you need. I suspect 50RMB of credit will do it.

new york, ny
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435 posts
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2. Re: cellphone for limited use

Thanks for your quick response. I will be flying from Beijing to Wuhan after an international flight to Beijing. Is China Telecom in the airport, or should I buy this in Wuhan?

Sherbrooke, Canada
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3. Re: cellphone for limited use

There is a China Telecom store at the airport in Terminal 3. After you pick up your luggage and you exit in the main area and turn left. Pass the Starbuck and go towards the McDonalds.

new york, ny
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435 posts
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4. Re: cellphone for limited use

Thanks for this and all your other helpful responses.

Boston...
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5. Re: cellphone for limited use

Just curious what Nossat's experience has been with the China Telecom store at the airport. I will be doing similar travel landing in Beijing for a short stay, then fly out to Hong Kong a couple of weeks later. Were the sales people there helpful? I will be bringing an unlocked cell phone which had worked in Hong Kong before, but not quite sure if it would work in China and be able to use the sim card there.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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6. Re: cellphone for limited use

Bear in mind that a SIM card bought in Beijing might charge more for calls in Wuhan so it might be easiest to wait until you get to Wuhan.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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39,296 posts
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7. Re: cellphone for limited use

@bing12 - if you phone worked in HK, it will work in China but you need a Chinese SIM.

8. Re: cellphone for limited use

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9. Re: cellphone for limited use

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