12 Replies Latest reply: Jul 14, 2010 4:15 PM by Wayland Chin
Pichead Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I just received my iPad 3G and am getting ready to leave for China. Anyone know what I can expect regarding 3G usage in the east?


Macbook Pro, iPhone OS 3.1.3, iPad
  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (64,600 points)
    Welcome to Apple Discussions!

    Whenever the carriers and Apple finish their negotiation. Do you believe people have crystal balls that work?
  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (169,810 points)
    You can expect it not to work. China does not use the 3G standard used elsewhere in the world but instead uses a "homegrown" version, which is why Apple had to release a special version of the iPhone there. WiFi should be fine (though some web sites may be blocked by the Chinese government) but 3G will not work.
  • UMID Freak Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Actually, China Mobile doesn't work... but if you use China Unicom, then it should work just fine!
  • Wayland Chin Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    You are wrong, it will work if you get a China Unicom SIM card and then use a razor to slice it down so it will fit the microSIm in the iPad.
  • Jason L Community Specialists Community Specialists (10,815 points)

    In general, the best option is to contact the cellular service provider and see if they offer a micro-sim and 3G data plan that the iPad can be used with.

    Then you would just have to enter the APN settings, as shown here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4119.

  • Wayland Chin Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    there's only 3 cell providers in china.

    GSM - China Unicom and China Mobile
    CDMA - China Telecom

    If you use China Mobile, you can only get edge because they use a different 3G standard.
    Your only choice is China Unicom, but you have to cut the SIM down to size because they don't offer microsim yet.
  • porkfarm Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    what's the speed you get with China Unicom? And does the GPS has similar issue with the iPhone 3GS or any non-China certified GPS?

    I know China Mobile EDGE is very very very slow, about maybe 10kpbs (using iPhone 3GS).
  • LynnOP Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm heading to China in a couple of weeks for vacation and am thinking about purchasing a US iPad as a much lighter email device (vs. my MacBook) to stay in touch with work projects, as well as for iBooks, etc.

    Has anyone actually tried the "cut the China Unicom Sim down to micro-sim size" approach? Does it actually work?

    Also, there seems to be no network coverage map for China Unicom (there is for China Mobile) so I have no idea whether there's coverage in the cities we're visiting (Shanghai, Guilin, Xian, Yangzi cruise, Chongqing, Yichang, Beijing).

    Finally, is WIFI a safer bet? I've read about inability to find WIFI in rural Italy ... what's the situation in these cities in China?
  • bastienmw Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have been looking at China Unicom's website and they are showing that they are now selling 3G USB cards with microSIM's included. Service here is pretty cheap. I already have a 3G card with China Telecom and the service was about 1600RMB for one year, unlimited bandwidth, 10 hours per day maximum usage.

    I will be going back to the US and getting an iPad and then I will buy the service over here when I return. When I know more I will post more info as to what was required or if it even worked at all.
  • Patrick Matheson Level 2 Level 2 (300 points)
    Wifi is not great in my experience, as the web is very restricted so quite slow.
  • Wayland Chin Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    The guy in this forum successfully cut down a China Unicom SIM card down to size.
    http://www.ipadforums.net/international-ipad-users/6171-using-3g-ipad-china-chin a-unicom.html

    You'll also want to get a vpn account from strongvpn.com or some other provider to bypass the chinese firewall.
  • Wayland Chin Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    These guys sell a micro sim adapter so you can use the same sim in all devices.