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Using my Verizon iPhone5 while studying abroad in China.

Baltimore, Maryland
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Using my Verizon iPhone5 while studying abroad in China.

I have been doing intense research on this and am finding so many people saying different things.

Here are the facts:

- I am in college and am studying abroad in China from August-December 2014.

- I have a 16GB Verizon iPhone5.

- I want to be able to call and text back to US.

- A data plan of some sort would be nice (I could sacrifice the data if need be!)

- Verizon tells me it will be better for me to buy a sim card in China.

What exactly I want to know:

- Are there different types of prepaid sim cards? (# of minutes/texts/data?)

- With a Chinese sim card will I be able to call or text back to the US or only locally in China?

- Do Chinese sim cards have limited life spans? I will be there for about 4.5 months.

- Does anyone have any experience with Wifi in China? Is there a lot of free Wifi spots?

- Does anyone have any experience with buying Chinese sim cards? (Cost/Difficulty)

Thanks so much in advance for any help or advice you can provide me!

Edited: 10 February 2014, 21:40
Sherbrooke, Canada
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39,273 posts
814 reviews
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1. Re: Using my Verizon iPhone5 while studying abroad in China.

Sure you can do that and you can obviously call anywhere in the world although you should call using Skype, which is cheaper.

There are numerous plans. These are monthly plans, so you need to "re-load" the card with additional money every month. At the store where you buy the SIM they will show you the various plans. My plan is costing 98RMN per month and gives me 300mb of data which I find sufficient and more calls and SMS than I need.

A lot of restaurants and most coffee shops have free wifi.

Nothing difficult about it if you can manage in mandarin otherwise bring a friend who can speak it. Remember, you are in China.

Dublin, California
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2. Re: Using my Verizon iPhone5 while studying abroad in China.

Make sure your phone is unlocked. You can call back to the US using Skype or whatsapp. At your university you'll have access to wifi.

Kuala Lumpur...
Destination Expert
for Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Hong Kong
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3. Re: Using my Verizon iPhone5 while studying abroad in China.

Hi,

as Verizon has already told you it is better to buy a China prepaid SIM, then assume your iP5 is unlocked (just a digress- is your iP5 installed with flapping bird app game?).

Then when you reach China, just get China UniCom- there are variants.

The following link could shed further light:-

http://support.mobipassport.com/china/

Baltimore, Maryland
3 posts
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4. Re: Using my Verizon iPhone5 while studying abroad in China.

Does "unlocked" mean I can pop out my sim card myself?

Sherbrooke, Canada
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39,273 posts
814 reviews
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5. Re: Using my Verizon iPhone5 while studying abroad in China.

No, anybody can pop out a SIM card. It means that if you put another SIM inside then it will work. It means that the phone is not locked by Verizon to only work with Verizon (something common in the US).

Baltimore, Maryland
3 posts
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6. Re: Using my Verizon iPhone5 while studying abroad in China.

No my iPhone5 does not have Flappy Bird on it and is not being sold on eBay for $90,000! I took a look at the China Unicom website you gave me. Will I be able to call the US on these voice plans or will that cost extra? Because at the bottom it says North America is $0.38/minute under international calls.

Dublin, California
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7. Re: Using my Verizon iPhone5 while studying abroad in China.

First thing, you need to talk to Verizon to have your phone unlocked. Yes it'll cost extra to make phone calls to the US. But most people use Skype or Whatsapp to connect with the US.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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39,273 posts
814 reviews
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8. Re: Using my Verizon iPhone5 while studying abroad in China.

Not sure if you have been out of the US before but from any phone you can call from anywhere to everywhere. Of course a long distance will cost money. An international call is a long distance call. Same as if you call from the US to China.

Please read the answers we gave you above. Then google Skype to know what it is. Surprised that you don't already know about it.

Dublin, California
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19,026 posts
43 reviews
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9. Re: Using my Verizon iPhone5 while studying abroad in China.

I think this is the first time I know more about cell phones than a college student.

10. Re: Using my Verizon iPhone5 while studying abroad in China.

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