i2 International Institute of Education


does anyone have fast internet?

godfear (25 posts) • 0

I just signed up for internet, and it is ridiculously slow. Does anyone have reasonably fast internet? which company do you use?

timkunming (87 posts) • 0

Welcome to the wonderful world of the Chinese Internet!
Unfortunately your options are pretty limited...you can choose ChinaNet, or ChinaNet, and even ChinaNet! State-owned enterprises CAN be fun!

In all seriousness, it's slow mainly due to the fact that all the information going out of China goes through a pipe cleaner. Sites located within China are usually lightning fast (as are their P2P sites), but once your surfing outside of China, it's sllloooowwww.

Greginchina (239 posts) • 0

ChinaNet as mentioned above is the brand name for China Telecom's internet service.

You do have the option of China Netcom/Unicom and China Tietong but if you live in a large apartment complex this decision has been made for you already unfortunately. not that they are necessarily better anyway.

You could try finding out if you are on the new 4Mbit ADSL. Most places are on 2Mbit but 4 is available for about 30 kuai extra per month, but it is dependent on distance from the telephone exchange.

The alternative is fibre optic cable but this is really only affordable for companies and they probably wouldn't install it in a short term rented apartment.

Another alternative is mobile internet. 3G has just come to Kunming. China Mobile has a home-grown standard, China Telecom uses CDMA2000 (used in the US by Verizon) and China Unicom is using WCDMA (the international standard).

I've just switched over to Unicom and I can say that the internet on my phone is now quicker than the ADSL connection. However, the 3G signal, while strong outside, is weak inside my apartment so this may not be a viable option.

hedgepig (273 posts) • 0

Greg continues to be a fount of knowledge on this subject. I'm surprised that it was Unicom that went for WCDMA flavour 3G - i've a low opinion of them, but it seems that this time they made the 'right' call.

unfortunately, i think the best course of action is to get used to it.

Greginchina (239 posts) • 0

I don't think it was Unicom who went for it. China Mobile certainly didn't want TD-SCDMA. They were forced to take it.

China Unicom were forced to sell their CDMA business to China Telecom (that's why China Telecom is now a mobile network - until recently it was only landlines and xiaolingtong). China Unicom were left with their feeble GSM network but also took over China Netcom who are a fixed line and broadband supplier.

WCDMA is the maturest and fasted 3G technology. With HSPA (High-speed packet Access) now part of the WCDMA standard it is capable of download speeds of up to 14.4 kbps. CDMA2000 and TD-SCDMA don't even come close. It should hopefully have the effect of narrowing China Mobile's monopoly now that they have the inferior and untested 3G technology. Hopefully this will bring in more money to China Unicom to expand their 3G network because their 2G one is lacking. The real test will be when I go outside of Kunming to the countryside - I've retained my China Mobile SIM card just in case.

Within Kunming there seems to be good 3G coverage on Unicom most places I go to. Unfortunately this doesn't include my apartment where it drops down to GPRS. Most networks who took up WCDMA had already rolled out EDGE (a 2.75G mobile data network). China Unicom hasn't. So when there's no 3G you're right back down to GPRS which is very very slow.

So its a mixed bag.

godfear (25 posts) • 0

thanks for the info. It's a shock to come from Seoul with some of the fastest internet in the world, to what sometimes feels like dial up... Oh well.

Quester (232 posts) • 0

When I lived in central China, I had reasonably fast broadband with a company called Great Wall. So in coming to Kunming, which I had heard was more foreigner-friendly, I was surprised and disappointed to discover that only ADSL was available. Does anyone know whether services of the Great Wall company might be available in Kunming yet?

Nanzhao (18 posts) • 0

Greg -

Great Info and very useful. Could I ask what plan you've signed up for the 3G plan with Unicom? What type of phone are you using?

Greginchina (239 posts) • 0

Unfortunately they are not offering a basic plan. The smallest one is 186 RMB for 500 minutes voice and 60MB data. I pay an extra 100 RMB for 2GB data. They have a few data addons going up to 5GB for 200 RMB. I don't really use my phone for a lot of calls so would prefer a smaller basic package and just to pay for the data package but this is not currently possible.

Using an iphone 3GS.

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