Beijing preview



Landline phone service is provided by Beijing Telecom ( Landlords usually have phone service set up before tenants move in. Make sure that they do this for you. If for some reason you must apply for phone service yourself (very rare), go with a Chinese friend as there will be no English speakers at the telecom offices. Check the website for addresses of the nearest branch. Beijing Telecom does not have an English website so have a Chinese friend help you navigate. You will have to apply in person and will need a mobile phone number where they can reach you. A Chinese-speaking technician will then call and make an appointment with you to come by for the installation. Installation fees are typically 200- 250 RMB for a regular landline. If you’d like to use long distance on your landline, apply for international and long distance service as well. The rates are approximately 22 RMB per month for a landline or 32 RMB for an ISDN line. A domestic long-distance call costs 0.70 RMB per minute (or 0.40 RMB during evening off-peak hours). International long-distance is 8 RMB per minute (4.80 RMB off-peak), though Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are much cheaper (2 RMB per minute).

Instead of signing up for long distance service through the phone company, many foreigners tend to use online services like Skype to call home. Others prefer using prepaid IP (Internet Phone) calling cards which can also save money on calls home. IP cards are available at most supermarkets and sidew…