As most readers know I conducted a joint test of Smartone-Vodafone’s HSDPA network last week; which I now found out it cost me HKD60.00 in data charges, as I had detailed in my post, Smartone-Vodafone HSDPA Network Speed Tested.
The people at Smartone-Vodafone took notice of my post, iPhones on Two Different 3G Networks Compared, and wanted to get to the bottom of the cause of the slow down in their HSDPA network; especially compared to 3 HK (another Hong Kong mobile carrier).
They began by acknowledging my claims, although they did not do what most other companies do; especially those in Asia, and simply claims that they had different results and dismissed our findings. Contrary they responded by saying they did not have the same results as we did and wanted to look into why we have different results.
They investigated the un-scientific test results I made and several days later contacted me to arrange a joint test. Today was the joint test at the three locations I had previously tested their HSDPA (3G) network:
- IFC Mall, Central, Hong Kong
- Areas near Wanchai Computer Center, Wanchai, Hong Kong
- Starbucks, Hysan Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Today a reader, Stephen C., sent me a video of a test he and his friend conducted (“un-scientifically) with two iPhone 3GS’s connected to two different 3G networks on two (3 HK and Smartone-Vodafone) of six mobile carriers in Hong Kong.
The result are a bit surprising, especially for customers of Smartone-Vodafone. The video had been sent to Smartone-Vodafone Customer Service and hopefully we will receive an official respond.
In the past several days I had been trying to trouble shoot why a follower (“Ms. iPhone”) on Twitter cannot get to iTunes Store from her iPhone. This was the iPhone 3G model on the 3 HK, Apple’s carrier partner in Hong Kong, network.
Ms. iPhone finally complaint to 3 HK Customer Service, and today she tells me what 3 HK Customer Service has told her:
All iPhones purchased in Hong Kong cannot access iTunes Store. The only iPhones that can access the iTunes Store are iPhones purchased outside of Hong Kong and hacked for used in Hong Kong.
What a ridiculous statement.
As many of you know Ms. iPhone’s problem with her iPhone not having access to iTunes Store (music and movies) via the iTunes application on her iPhone is not because she bought her iPhone in Hong Kong. Ms. iPhone problem is that her iTunes Store account is with iTunes Store Hong Kong and iTunes Store HK does not have a music and movie section.
Before you jump into a mobile tariff contract (for 2 years or 15 months) with your new iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS you need to understand that not all 3G (HSDPA) network are the same. This is especially important if you are going to buy a new iPhone 3GS.
The reason is because, unlike the iPhone 3G, the iPhone 3GS is capable of supporting 7.2 Mbps downlink and 5 Mbps uplink speeds. At the moment as far as I know the 3 HK HSDPA network is capable of supporting 3.6 Mbps downlink speed at most locations and 7.2 Mbps at certain locations. Where as Smartone-Vodafone’s HSDPA network is already capable of supporting 14 Mbps downlink at every location.
This afternoon 3 HK, Apple’s official carrier partner in Hong Kong released details of their iPhone 3GS tariff plans.
From the prices of these plans, it indicates that the “contract-free” version to be sold at Apple Online Store Hong Kong and other Authorized Apple Resellers will be around the same HKD5400.00 and HKD6200.00 prices respectively; as with the iPhone 3G, for the 16GB abd 32GB models.
These phones and tariff plans will be available to all starting tomorrow, July 10th, along with a 2-year contract. For existing 3 HK customers there will be 12-month contract at special upgrade prices. Details of which will most likely depends on the number of months into and the tariff plan of the existing contract.
Continue reading “Prices of iPhone 3GS in Hong Kong [Updated]”
When I the create the post, To iPhone 3G S or Not?, I was not able to enable the MMS function on my iPhone 3G.
Before I explain how to enable MMS on an iPhone 3G running the iPhone 3.0 firmware, let me explain my context.
My iPhone 3G is the officially “SIM unlocked” version of the iPhone 3G directly from Apple Online Store Hong Kong. It capacity happens to be a 16GB version. I installed the iPhone 3.0 firmware “Golden Master” version onto my iPhone.
The following applies to any carrier situations, no matter whether the carrier in question is an official carrier partner with Apple in the country.
[Update: 12:10, June 18, 2009]
Added MMS settings for PCCW. Please note that these settings had not been tested on the iPhone. Please leave a note in the Comment section if you’re a PCCW customer and tried it on your iPhone 3G.
[Update: 13:01, June 18, 2009]
Thanks to reader Jon for pointing out the typo in the MMSC for Smartone-Vodafone.
[Update: 14:01, June 18, 2009]
I just received some news from Smartone-Vodafone that contradicts the information I received from them in two separate occasions, which is the fact that they do not charge their customers for receiving MMS.
The latest information is that they will charge HKD0.04/KB; a maximum of HKD12.00/MMS, to receive MMS.
This comes back to my original point I always had with MMS, the technology will not get wide adoptions and acceptances by consumers until the carriers remove these ridiculous pricing.
I for one will not use it!
I encourage all to not use it and ensure you do not pay the fees to show our disgust.
[Update: 17:11, June 18, 2009]
Thanks to reader Karay who pointed to a person calling himself “markmall_hk” on UWants.com, I have now updated the MMS settings for all mobile carriers in Hong Kong.
[Update: 01:10, June 20, 2009]
Added settings for CTM in Macau.
[Update: 01:20, June 20, 2009]
Thanks to reader Niels for the China Unicom 3G settings in mainland China.
[Update: 01:30, June 20, 2009]
Thanks to reader Ju for confirming the settings for PEOPLE.
[Update: 15:10, June 20, 2009]
Thanks to reader Todd for confirming the settings for CSL
[Update: 12:15, June 24, 2009]
Thanks to reader Filipe for supplying the settings for CTM Macau non-prepaid SIM card customers.
[Update: 16:00, June 25, 2009]
I just double checked Smartone-Vodafone’s web site and it clearly states that “3G SmarTone-Vodafone customers” can receive MMS for FREE.
So I do not understand why the previous Customer Service representative claims that I have to pay the HKD0.04/KB when I clearly told her that I was on a 3G plan, plus she had my account opened in front of her.
[Update: 12:00, June 26, 2009]
Added the instructions to enable to the “Cellular Data Network” option within the Network settings pane.