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Thread: 3G iPhone and China Mobile?

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I've been doing some reading around and yet I cannot quite find hard information on the usage of the 3G iPhone with China Mobile. In February I was in Beijing
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  1. #1
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    Default 3G iPhone and China Mobile?
    I've been doing some reading around and yet I cannot quite find hard information on the usage of the 3G iPhone with China Mobile.

    In February I was in Beijing for about one month to be with my girlfriend. I brought along my 3G iPhone (AT&T) and it was still a virgin. I disabled the data roaming and from the carrier options I enabled the usage of China Mobile. The call quality was much better than the one other, I want to say Unicom, but I could be mistaken.

    While there I noticed my girlfriend really liked the phone. As such I am now looking at surprising her with a 3G iPhone, since she will eventually be coming to the US to finish another degree. I would like to get her the iPhone still just to enjoy while she is still living in China. When she comes to the states I can help set her up to a service for 3G.

    I am aware of some matters or would greatly appreciate any help with the following:

    1. 3G
    This does not work or there's cases where it works in some areas of Shanghai and Hong Kong with such services as China Unicom. This is not such a problem, I am aware that the carriers in China at the moment do not support the same system.
    2. Edge
    Here I am confused. With the proper China Mobile plan, will she be able to use the Edge network anywhere? I can speak Chinese fairly well thanks to her but when it comes to reading it writing I am not so great just yet. I am getting better and will confidently become very good with time! Back to the point though - I am unable to see what types of packages China Mobile offers for this. If it will even work at all. I would like to keep this as a surprise so I cannot very well ask her to help translate haha

    3. SIM Card
    Is there a specific type of SIM card to acquire in order for the 3G iPhone (US) to work on the China Mobile network?

    4. Other unlocking requirements
    I've since been tinkering with my own iPhone and I did a jailbreak. I've got most of it all down and I'm having the most fun skinning a theme. I used to do a lot of xp styles.

    My question is are there special requirements to unlock the iPhone for usage with a China Mobile SIM? I've been looking at these other offers such as REBEL SIM and cannot find anything regarding whether or not a special unlock is necessary instead of yellowsn0w.

    I appreciate anyone taking the time to read this and help me out. If I were in China I would be able to mess with all of this and figure it out. It is apparent that this phone can operate on China Mobile - sans 3G/Visual Voicemail - but it is a matter of how to manage it to work on China Mobile's network with their own service and if Edge can work.

    If and when I can get this all done I would gladly set up a tutorial (pretty pics a must) for anyone else to follow for in the future if they are also in need

  2. #2
    Green Apple
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    1. You answered yourself
    2. Don't know, found here a link with some info Kude Labs : EDGE access in China for the iPhone also I read somewhere that China Mobile had 400 000 users (information from 2008, probably much more now) with iphones on their network.
    3 you will need an unlock sim card (if you have 2.2.1 firmware) I use this one and it works fine for me Unlock iPhone 3G - Instant Unlock any iPhone. Incl 2.2.1
    4 do a jailbreak then unlock
    From what I see on internet edge works fine on China Mobile
    Hope this helps.
    "Apple a day keeps the doctor away"

  3. #3
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    I have been using pwnage unlocked 2G and Hong Kong version 3G all over China. I have a a pre paid China mobile with 100 RMB a month added for 800 mb data a month. I get EDGE everywhere I go and never used all 800 mb. I think they have a lower mb data rate also. I have no issues with internet nor getting emails. I have prepaid cards for most places go (Taiwan, Hong Kong, USA) and change every time I fly. If you have any issues or problems let me know. I will help you out. I have been living here for 4 years.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies I really appreciate the help.

    Just poring over some info lately on the fuss about jailbreaking/unlocking and people getting more recent iPhones. My phone says it's 2.21 5H11 and 02.30.03 firmware but was jailbroken fine. Others are having problems it seems.

    Not at all bad about the data package! I was looking at the Go Tone, Easyown et cetera packages. She uses the Easyown and it's also prepaid. So if you're having goodluck that's awesome and very welcoming news

  5. #5
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    Just remember my 2G was pwned unlocked and my 3G is Hong Kong model factory unlocked.

  6. #6
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    angrysnake, where in China are you? Does China Mobile offer the 800mb data plan all over China?

  7. #7
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    I am in GZ (southern china close to HK). China Mobile is government influenced. Should be same everywhere. I will check at a different province next week. But I do know if you are in a different provence you can not recharge you number at any location. You will need to get recharge cards from where you got your mobile number. I did misquote the 800mb. I had to find my booklet on how to add data for another member and 800mb was wrong. It is 1000mb for 100 RMB.

  8. #8
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    So let me get this straight:

    After I buy my SIM card and choose a prepaid plan, I have to get recharge cards to fund it? Then I can add the data plan separately by calling the operator?

    Thanks in advance.

  9. #9
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    That is correct. A post paid is very difficult to get in china. 99+% customers are prepaid.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to angrysnake For This Useful Post:

    vcf (05-14-2009)

  11. #10
    Green Apple
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    I've been living in Shanghai, China for three years now, and have been using iPhones here since they first came out. I travel all over the place including Beijing and Hong Kong.

    I used to use China Mobile. On China Mobile's network EDGE works great. You are able to use the full capability of their "2.5G" network.

    Recently (as of one month ago), China Unicom has just launched their WCDMA (3G) service. I immediately subscribed, and have been successfully enjoying very fast 3G service all over China on my iPhone 3GS. I highly recommend going with China Unicom WCDMA service.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    By the way, China Unicom 3G service is post paid.
    Last edited by jkfox121; 08-15-2009 at 06:15 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    iPhone 3GS - 32GB

  12. #11
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    What is the cost for this? What is the speed?

  13. #12
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    jkfox121,


    Did you upgrade to 3.0.1 yet? If you did can you please tell me if you used ultrasn0w .8 or .91-1?

    Very much appreciated! This will help me tremendously right now since a lot of people are having issues with ultrasn0w's new version.

  14. #13
    Green Apple eremeya's Avatar
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    I am currently in Wenzhou, China and using a factory unlocked 3GS on a pre-paid China Mobile SIM with 200mb of data at 20RMB per month. I have had no problems except for the purplerain jailbreak (it seems to interfere at times with both edge and WI-FI internet connections). Also, I have mine set up to do both MMS and tethering

    I had an AT&T iPhone 3G that I used for several months with no carrier problems. I jailbroke and software unlocked it and just put my pre-paid SIM in with no problems.

    The biggest problem I had with using a SIM proxy card (Gevey 3G, Rebel SIM, etc.) is that GPS does NOT work, but it does work fine with the software unlock.

    If you have any more questions PM me and I'll see what I can do to answer them.


    Recently (as of one month ago), China Unicom has just launched their WCDMA (3G) service. I immediately subscribed, and have been successfully enjoying very fast 3G service all over China on my iPhone 3GS. I highly recommend going with China Unicom WCDMA service.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    By the way, China Unicom 3G service is post paid.
    jkfox121: How much is that service per month and how long is the contract for?

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