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Chengdu, China


WarrenRodwell WarrenRo…
50 reviews
Nov 02, 2007
Telecommunication in Chengdu is very convenient these days. Mobile phones are universally used. From crowded buses and bustling streets to quiet corners of cultural centres, consumers talking on cell or mobile phones can be seen almost everywhere. People of different ages from various circles, peddlers and university students, are all fond of this handy communication device. It is quite easy for foreign visitors to find telephone booths and public telephones in the street. However, these types of phones are not generally available for international long distance calls. It is much better to go to China Telecom business halls or the business centres of hotels if you need to call abroad.

Something worth mentioning is that mobile phone coverage is available in almost all famous places of scenic interest in Sichuan province - including Mount Emei, Mount Qincheng, Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong. Most of the cell phones on the Chinese mainland use the GSM system. Anyone planning to stay in Chengdu for a long time should give serious thought to buying a local SIM card. To activate international long distance call dialling, you need to go to one of the business halls of either China Mobile or China Unicom. A good choice when buying a cell phone is Taisheng Nan Cell Phone Street as this is where the most updated styles of all brands are available at reasonable prices.

The principle of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) applies the world over when acquiring goods of any description. For reliability and peace of mind, prospective buyers are strongly urged to purchase mobile phones in monopolized big markets like Xunjie Communication, instead of so called “smuggled” ones from peddlers around the street. These phones have mainly been repaired, and in some cases even stolen. Regarded as a loss of property, these inferior quality products represent poor value.

Alternatively, if you have a SKYPE account, you could pop into one of the numerous Chengdu internet bars. The connection speed can be 100Mps, so surfing the web and checking e-mails is simple.


Expatriate writer Warren Rodwell has been in China since 2002, and teaches university postgraduates in Chengdu. Many of his feature stories, reviews & photographs have been published online or in hardcopy media form. Warren also narrates documentaries and administers various websites as part of his efforts to promote Chengdu & Sichuan culture(s) more globally.

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