China Prepaid SIM Card FAQs

What is GSM?

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) leads the world as the fastest growing, most reliable and advanced digital technology available in the marketplace today. GSM provides integrated voice mail, high-speed data, fax, paging and short message services capabilities. GSM customers enjoy secure communications, and GSM offers unparalleled call privacy and fraud prevention. As members of the GSM Global Network, GSM subscribers can use their phones at home, across town, across the continent, or around the world (except for with country specific SIM cards). GSM operates on the multiple spectrum frequency bands used around the world - 1900MHZ, which is used in North America and 900MHz and 1800 MHz for other locations. The GSM network provides the best digital wireless voice quality in the world today. For more information about GSM, go to our GSM Cellular Phone FAQs page.

What is a SIM card?

The SIM (Subscriber Information Module) card - a.k.a. "smart card" - holds all of a subscriber's personal information and phone settings. In essence, it is the subscriber's authorization to use the network. It also holds the phone number, personal security key and other data necessary for the handset to function. The card can be switched from phone to phone, letting the new phone receive all calls to the subscriber's number.

How do SIM cards work?

The SIM is inside each handset and functions as its digital brain. The authentication and encryption capabilities of the SIM prevent your phone from being stolen and your calls from being eavesdropped on. The SIM's digital memory, which stores information like your rate plan, phone number and service features, also allows you to easily personalize your service and contains user ID and billing information that can be switched between different phones. So, with your SIM card installed, you can make or receive calls personally even when you're using a borrowed phone. Upgrading your phone is as simple as slipping your SIM card into your new phone.

Why Prepaid?

When prepay or "pay as you go" cellular services were first introduced in Europe, towards the end of 1995, Western European Cellular penetration was just below 6%. It has since climbed above 74%. No one disputes the enormous contribution which "contract free", "commitment free" prepaid cellular services have made to this growth. The fact that over 64% of all cellular users in Western Europe are now connected to prepay plans, is a tangible demonstration of prepay cellular"s impact. Prepaid cellular service lets you to stay connected without any monthly, contractual obligations therefore allowing more flexibility regarding when you will use your phone. It also prevents overusage and therefore is more "worry free" than subscription service. While 64% of all European cell phone users have opted for prepaid cellular service, it is especially convenient for foreigners visiting those markets - whether they intend to stay for one week or six months.

What are the call charges?

Calls are charged by the minute or fraction thereof, depending on the country. The country specific prepaid SIM card comes with a certain amount of call time. This information is available on the web page(s) pertaining to that particular country. In all cases, incoming calls are always free except for the United States. If your SIM card happens to work outside of the country of origin as will sometimes be the case, you will be billed for incoming calls.

How do I re-charge the SIM once it has been depleted?

Please refer to the web page(s) pertaining to that particular country's details regarding recharging your SIM card.

Can I keep my SIM card and use it later?

Yes, but most countries will terminate the SIM number and unused time if you do not charge the card within a certain time limit. Please refer to the web page(s) pertaining to that particular country for specific details.

Can I use different SIM cards in my phone?

All of the cellular phones we rent and sell are unlocked, that is, not "locked in" with any specific provider or SIM card. Therefore, as long as the frequencies are compatible, you can use any SIM with your phone. If you have purchased or rented your handset through another source, particularly one of the major carriers, you will most likely not be able to use a different SIM card in your phone.

What happens if the phone is turned off and someone tries to call?

Most of the country specific prepaid SIM cards have voicemail. Please refer to the web page(s) pertaining to that particular country for further details

Will my country specific SIM card work outside of the country of origin?

In most cases, your country specific SIM card will only work within the country of origin.

Will my country specific SIM card work when I am on my cruise?

Coverage around Europe is limited to coastal areas and among many of the Greek Isles. When in port, service should be satisfactory. Please confirm whether the electrical service on the ship is European 220v or the US 110v for the charger. If coverage while away from port is critical please call us to help you with a solution. You might consider purchasing a transformer and socket adapters for your cellular phone - we carry these as well. We also recommend that you fully charge your cell phone prior to your depature so that you have immediate access upon arrival. Please make sure that you carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions when first charging your phone.

Are there places the international GSM cellular phone will not work inside the service area?

As with any cellular system, just like in the United States, reception varies as you travel, particularly in rural areas, but service in most European business centers is first-class - usually far superior to cellular service in the US.

More Related Topics


Unlocked GSM Cell Phones

Top Up for China GSM Cell Phones

China GSM Cell Phone Rental FAQs

From China GSM SIM Card to China Mobile Phones Home

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