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How the hell do I use a sim card?

Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
edited August 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I hace this cell I just bought, without service, just the device. I'm in Taiwan right now, going to China tomorrow. When I get to the airport in Shanghai, can I just go and buy a Sim card and start making calls? Or do I need to get service first?

What steps do I need to take to go from: having a Nokia 1600 without a plan/service/what have you, to making calls from an airport in a different country tomorrow.

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Loren Michael on

Posts

  • TexiKenTexiKen Dammit! That fish really got me!Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    You need to sign up for service. They will usually give you a free phone with the Sim card in it, which can easily be removed. You can then put that card into an unlocked phone.

    Unless the phone is pre-paid, but I don't think those have Sim slots.

    TexiKen on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I've been peeking around online, and I found some stuff on pre-paid sim cards. Are there different dynamics for that? Are they easy to find?

    A guy I need to call in China said I should be able to pick a sim card up in the airport. I have no idea how true that is.

    Loren Michael on
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  • WillscottWillscott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Short answer: yes.

    prepaid sim cards are very common. When I went to shanghai a couple years ago i remember walking past tons of shops that were selling them right at the airport (I'm guessing you'll be using the international airport, there's a shopping area between the airport proper and the mag-lev train into the city.)

    You'll also find prepaid sim cards all over the city, you should be able to buy one and pop it in your phone no trouble. If it runs out of minutes, the same places are happy to sell you refills. One thing to look for is what each pre-paid sim is good for (like out-of-country calls can use up your minutes faster).


    Have fun in shanghai, it's a great city!

    Willscott on
  • SoonerManSoonerMan Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I've heard people say, "Just buy a prepaid phone, pop your SIM card into it and just wait to buy a new phone" in cases of, "OMG MY PHONE IS BROKE SUGGEST ME ONE."

    SoonerMan on
    Rah, Oklahoma! Rah, Oklahoma! Rah, Oklahoma~! O-K-U!
  • NibbleNibble Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Yes, you can buy pre-paid SIM cards all over the place, with little hassle. You will still need to show them your passport and one or two other forms of photo ID. In Taiwan, you have to wait 24 (or 48?) hours before your pre-paid card gets activated, but I don't know if this is the case in Taiwan.

    Nibble on
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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Thanks, everyone.

    One thing though that I'm still unclear on, and I just want to try to make sure I don't have a hassle later- do I have to have a plan even when using a prepaid sim card?

    Loren Michael on
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  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Thanks, everyone.

    One thing though that I'm still unclear on, and I just want to try to make sure I don't have a hassle later- do I have to have a plan even when using a prepaid sim card?

    No. Generally with pre-paid cards you buy credit in advance, and top it up when it runs out. The whole point is to give you a functional phone without having to sign up to anything.

    japan on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Okay.

    That's perfect.

    You guys are all champs and I would buy you all beers were we in a bar. Thank you very, very much.

    Loren Michael on
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This discussion has been closed.