Travelling to China (1): Mobile Roaming with Airtel

Travel

Two weeks back I had to travel to Shenzhen in China on a business trip.  While there are several insights, anecdotes and images I will be sharing in the posts and times to come, the first post was the easiest to compose.

As an Airtel mobile subscriber, I had seamless roaming coverage between networks as we travelled from Delhi to Bangkok (airport transit) to Hong Kong to Shenzhen and the same route back. This even included GPRS access, at speeds I felt were better than in India. (Haven’t received my bill yet, so don’t know how would the GPRS access be charged, since in India I have a flat monthly fee / unlimited access subscription to GPRS)

Here are all the SMS messages one received on changing/entering networks:

From: Airtel
Date: 18.3.07 9:37 am
Airtel wishes you a pleasant stay in Hong Kong. You have logged onto China Resources Peoples Telephone Co Ltd

From: 8525059
Date: 18.3.07 9:37 am
Welcome to PEOPLES Hong Kong! Calling home / other countries? Dial <001> <country code and area code> <phone no>.

From: Airtel
Date: 18.3.07 9:39 am
Airtel presents Roam-Saver! Dial *108 # and press the calling button to know how to send a free Call-Back SMS to any mobile while u are roaming Internationally.

From: 8525059
Date: 18.3.07 9:53 am
At PEOPLES, besides voice calls, you can use GPRS Roaming to continue accessing WAP, internet and other data services provided by your operator back home.

From: SMC-Vod
Date: 18.3.07 11:54 am
Welcome to HK! Enjoy SmarTone-Vodafone quality GSM DualBand network-make local call:dial HK Tel No directly; IDD call: dial ?<+?>?<Country code?>?<Area code?>?<Tel No?>

From: SMC-Vod
Date: 18.3.07 11:57 am
Welcome to Hong Kong! Use SmarTone-Vodafone & dial *368 to enjoy dining/shopping tips and roaming assistance.

From: Airtel
Date: 18.3.07 5:53 pm
Airtel wishes you a pleasant stay in China. You have logged onto China Unicom.

From: Airtel
Date: 18.3.07 5:55 pm
Airtel presents Roam-Saver! Dial *108 # and press the calling button to know how to send a free Call-Back SMS to any mobile while u are roaming Internationally

From: +10010
Date: 19.3.07 10:13 am
WELCOME TO CHINA AND USE CHINA UNICOM’s NETWORK,PLEASE DIAL + FOR INTERNATIONAL CALL/SMS.ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY IN CHINA.

From: Airtel
Date: 19.3.07 11:46 am
Airtel wishes you a pleasant stay in China. You have logged onto China Mobile.

From: Airtel
Date: 19.3.07 11:48 am
Airtel presents Roam-Saver! Dial *108 # and press the calling button to know how to send a free Call-Back SMS to any mobile while u are roaming Internationally.

From: HKCSL
Date: 21.3.07 7:02 pm
Welcome to CSL! You can now enjoy FREE WiFi service in Hong Kong till 30April07, compliments of CSL & BRIDGE. Dial *199#SEND for USER NAME & PASSWORD.

From: HKCSL
Date: 21.3.07 7:02 pm
CSL FREE WiFi -To check details & hot spot locations, visit “Local Promotion” of http://conciergego.mobi/go.jsp?c=HKG from your phone or call our hotline *275.

What do you say, aren’t Airtel messages the smartest of the lot above? (If you ignore the fact that you received their messages every time there was a change of network)  The most cryptic seem to be the ones from SMC-Vodafone. And the ALL CAPS message is from China Unicom!

I recall a post I had written earlier Smart SMS from Airtel Mumbai where I had pointed out the difference between the messages that network providers send you when you enter their networks on roaming.

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