Mobile Phone Services
Students, faculty and staff at DKU have several choices for cell phones.
Three carriers – China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom – cover the Kunshan region. All three carriers have stores in downtown Kunshan where you can purchase a cellular phone. If you already have an unlocked phone that supports global use (typically through a wide range of UMTS/HSDPA/GSM bands), you can purchase a SIM card and service there for your existing phone.
China Telecom and China Mobile have implemented on-campus cellular repeaters for improved coverage inside DKU campus buildings.
Duke faculty/staff traveling to DKU should contact DKU IT for further help including information on loaner cell phone options.
Mobile Phone Options for Duke Faculty, Staff and Students
Duke University faculty, staff and students traveling to DKU or China for the first time will find that there are several cellular service options, some of which work differently than in the United States.
Some travelers wish to bring their US phone to be reachable at their usual American numbers, although US plans’ voice and data costs are relatively expensive even with a global plan activated. Others choose to get Chinese cell phone service to access low in-country rates and more easily reach colleagues and businesses in China; data service is much cheaper than with US global or domestic plans, but U.S./international numbers can often not be reached (although Skype can be used over cellular or Wi-Fi for cheap calls back to the US.)
The three most common options for travelers are:
Tips and Advice
Use a Duke-paid or personally-paid phone with your US carrier service
Use your existing phone with Chinese service
Buy a phone just for use in China