Warning: Heavy SMS text messagers avoid Far EasTone!

I changed from Chunghwa and am paying the price. You have been warned. More later - still fighting with FarEasTone, who are a dreadful shower of con merchants.

If you send SMS from work or home there is a web-based system you can use that is cheaper than other alternatives. Available through TCC.

Taiwan Da Ge Da’s 601 plan costs $601 for unlimited SMS, and you get a $601 budget for phone calls. They also have a 901 plan for unlimited calls from your cell phone, but I don’t make enough calls for that plan to be worth it.

Or you can also pay an extra NT$30 each month and every sms that you send will be on discount rates. I think it’s pretty good if you don’t send as many sms but still a fair number of sms. But then I might be wrong… I am not good in math…

Does the Taiwan Da Ge Da SMS allowance include cross-network messages?

I always send SMS to Da Ge Da but I have a feeling cross-network messages will incur a fee.

I get nailed from Fetnet every month for sms – unreal. My bill this month is about 12k. I would switch providers in an instant if it wasn’t for the fact that I don’t want to bother a local buddy by asking him to be a guarantor.

I assume that I still need a local to get a phone contract?

If you go to one of the telephone company stores rather than an independent, or one of those stands you can get a contract in your own name if you have an ARC.

I’ve had a good look at FET’s tariffs and you have the choice of being raped on the SMS’s or fucked up the ass on the call charges. A total rip off.

Why oh why did I ever leave Chung Hwa?

I’m curious - what if I took the irresponsible route and said f*** off and didn’t pay the bill. Would I expect to come home some night and be mugged by some gansters for not paying?

Your ‘local buddy’ who you ‘bothered to be a guarantor’ would have to pay it.

They’d also get it recorded on their credit history.

[quote=“Rik”]Your ‘local buddy’ who you ‘bothered to be a guarantor’ would have to pay it.

They’d also get it recorded on their credit history.[/quote]

I didn’t have a guarantor for this account. I was just babbling and just paid off the account but 5 minutes ago.

That seems to contradict the post that I was quoting from, but you have every right to not go into detail about whatever special circumstances there are, and we are all free to babble.

None payment of bills results in outgoing calls and text messages being blocked after a few weeks until you pay.

How long you can continue to recieve calls I’m not sure.

When I first got this number I kept recieving automated calls saying I had to pay a bill, because whoever had the number before me had not paid.

Recovery of money involves bailif’s letters being sent to the bill holder, or if there is a guarantor to him or her, and a credit blacklisting. I know this because my (Taiwanese) girlfriend signed as guarantor for a (Taiwanese) friend who was under 18 when she was younger and ended up paying for it.

edit: you you => long you



If you have succeeded in doing so, please tell us what company, where, and the situation.

In the spring of 1998, I applied for a Trans Asia (Fan Ya) phone number and GOT ONE!!! that was before discrimination set in. My original Chunghwa 090 number “a REAL da ge da” changed to digital in 1999 and I had no problem with that, either.

Last May, I attained ROC nationality. I went to Fan Ya (Trans Asia) to change my name to Chinese and they said “Well, since you already have this number, we’ll let you change your name, but without a “real” ID card yet, you wouldn’t be allowed to get this number if you were applying today.” Good thing I never tried to switch companies at the wrong time. (Fan Ya is only from Chia-Yi south, that number comes up as “Taiwan Da Ge Da” in Taipei, but I can also change it to Far East if I want. They all have some kind of agreement). My Fan Ya number is 0931. Now they’re all 0929 and others. If you see 0931, you know that’s a spring/summer 1998 issued Fan Ya number. Very Special.

When you get ROC Nationality, you are given a “Taiwan Area Residence Card”, which nobody believes in. Last year, after becoming a national, I have applied for TWO PHS phone numbers and had to have a guarantor with an ID card both times. Pissed me off. I recently was curious and wanted to try out CDMA, so I applied for a Qma phone. I paid, signed up, got the phone home and waited the hour before it worked. It didn’t work for about an hour and a half and the person called up and said “Sorry, you need a guarantor”. That was THE STORE, too. Not a stand or whatever.

Hexuan, I don’t know how married you are to your GSM number, but IMHO I highly recommend PHS. If you’re going to have to get a guarantor anyway… It’s $2.5 to send a message to a GSM phone and $1.5 to send to PHS. If you buy the Sanyo G1000, you can use PHS and one GSM SIM card at the same time. When one call comes in, the other system is shut off, so you can’t have GSM on hold and answer PHS, etc. GSM terribly eats the battery, so if you love messages so much, you can turn it on for a few minutes, read your messages, and then turn it off and answer using PHS. Might save you some money. If you have PHS friends, that’s even cheaper. Slowly, as more and more people know your PHS number, you can phase out your GSM. It has good dictionary typing for English and if you type in Chinese, it is very good at guessing the next word, etc.

Another advantage of PHS is: email. There’s no cable with Windows software to transfer things to/from the phone. Just email it. You can take a picture and fire it off anywhere in the world. Friends can type comfortably with a real keyboard and then email it to your phone. Email is WAY cheaper than SMS messages. Sending email is based on “the time it takes to transfer the message”. If you type the maximum of 2048 characters, it might be $0.4. How many 160-character $2 or $3 messages is THAT??? TWELVE, which means if you like typing LONG e-mail-like messages, It’s roughly 1/100th the cost. Question is: how “mobile” are your friends, and are they able to receive text emails if not in front of a computer?

By the way, did I mention that I’m happy with PHS??? Ha ha. I follow PHS very carefully, I know how the system works, I know where all the antennas are, etc. If you have any PHS questions, lemme know.

Very interesting, coolingtower… I know someone who has a PHS phone and she swears by it. It is one like you described, which can also take a GSM SIM.

My missus was saying a lot of Taiwanese people she knows have 2 or more phones, because of this ridiculous billing system. I would look into getting another card to send texts on, but it’s all just a bit silly.

Strange that your pre-ID card ID card doesn’t work. I’ll save that one for another thread.

How is PHS service outside of Taipei, like Kaohsiung and Taichung? Lot of dead zones?
What does a phone cost? The website is very evasive on this topic, no prices shown…


FITEL (Da Zhong telecom, where “da zhong” means “the masses”. FITEL stands for First International Telecom. Go figure) seems to follow the same pattern: they plan an area, put up antennas, test it, then add more antennas as necessary, then open shops where you can buy phones and start advertising. Makes sense, really. They don’t want to open the stores too early and have people complaining about “holes” in the service area.

Currently, you’re good from Keelung all the way down to the edge of MiaoLi Xian. It skips Miao Li and there’s service in most of Tai Zhong Hsien. The northern part, I’m not certain, but I know it extends all the way to the very edge of Zhang Hua Xian. Skips Zhang Hua, Yun Lin, Chia-Yi. Tainan is being planned and someone told me they already have seen an antenna there. Kaohsiung City has total PHS and Kaohsiung Hsien extends about 2/3rds of the way to Tainan on the north side, Nearly to the 2nd freeway on the east side, and all the way to the edge of Ping Tung Xian on the South side. How’s THAT for a synopsis??? If you want to know more about the “edges” of service in Kaohsiung, I can give you very detailed info about that. If you want to know the current “islands of service” in Tainan, I can tell you. The other areas have good service, but I’m more unclear about the extents. In Taipei, PHS will cut off on the long under-river haul between Ding XI Station and Gu Ting. Other than that, it’s pretty much consistent underground. Have you ever noticed a big black cable running along the ceiling as you descend into Taipei’s subway stations??? That’s GSM. Have you ever noticed white, round, funnel-shaped things on the ceiling inside station? Those are PHS antennas.

The Sanyo J100 I bought just over a year ago was $11,200 and the Sanyo G1000 I got in either May or june was about $15,000. Getting a number is free. There’s no GSM nonsense about getting the phone cheaper, but you have to sign up for a certain amount of time, etc. I could be wrong about this NOW, though. I can check for you guys. I can read Chinese, but my monitor is old and blurry and their text is small. When can I do that?? AT WORK!!!

One of the big selling points of PHS is that it doesn’t fry your brain with 1.0 to 2.0 watts of power–PHS is 0.01 watts. That’s like using a cordless phone in your home. Because of this, you need a LOT of antennas. I’m not going to describe what they look like because I’m DETERMINED to figure out how to upload a freakin’ avatar to this site. Then, a PHS antenna will be my avatar. After that, you’ll start noticing them atop buildings and you’ll get the idea. One antenna is only good for about 100 to 200 meters, depending on the topography of buildings nearby, etc.

In 1994, I helped with writing software for “cell-switching” at AT&T in the US. (I didn’t have a very important hand in this, but at least I knew what was going on). When you are using a cell phone and your signal gets weak, it triggers the system to: what cell are you using? what cells are nearby? can I find you one one of these cells? is that signal stronger? If so, SWITCH!!! This process is called “handoff”. “Newton’s Telecom Dictionary” says “PHS doesn’t have handoff”. Foreigners in Japan (probably a long time ago) said "PHS won’t work on anything faster than a bicycle. FITEL says “PHS won’t work at speeds over 100km/hr.” The truth is, if you’re walking or driving at 60 or 70km/hr, handoff seems to be seamless. The faster you go, the more you will notice the delay in handoff. At 100km/hr or more, you could reach a stage where the system is infinitely trying to find you and not ever settling on one antenna to give you your signal back. I don’t think this is a problem.

The more crowded the area, the more likely they will have many antennas. Also, the more crowded the area, the less likely you’re going to be going that fast anyway. I HAVE noticed this before, in a very unlikely situation, but I wouldn’t consider it a problem. I was going to Tainan on a bus and it was 3:30am. The bus was burning to make up time, I guess. Someone called me when I was going through Tai Zhong. The conversation was 5 seconds of signal, 3 seconds of silence, 4 seconds of signal, 2 seconds of silence, 10 seconds of signal, 5 seconds of silence, etc.100km/hr is not a magic number, but “pretty much the point that most people consider the conversation useless”. PHS DOES have handoff, but it’s ridiculous to think that the system can handoff when you’re changing antennas at this rate.

Taiwan’s “Bureau of Communications” or whatever it is called rates PHS as a kind-of “cordless phone” instead of a “GSM-type mobile phone” and so the money they pay for the frequency (1900 Mhz) usage is nil compared to GSM operators. At least I’ve heard something along these lines before.

I’m VERY HAPPY with PHS and I love it!![/quote]

What is this price? Where do I check? I’ll look up 大衆 Telecom then.


If you live in Yong He, like me, maybe we can meet up and go to the PHS store together and talk about it. I think that walking from my house is quicker than finding info on their website.

I’m going to go later and ask some questions for you anyway. I’m leaving now and I’ll report back in a half hour or so.

I will post FITEL’s current calling plan.