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Chinese and American Mobile Phone Systems
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At the risk of appearing to be a shill, I think it is safe to say that China arguably has the best mobile phone service in the world, certainly second to none, while the US and Canada have arguably the worst, surely the most fragmented and dysfunctional, and certainly the most expensive. Let’s look at some details.

I’m uncertain about the US but, so far as I am aware, in Canada and many European countries, mobile phones can be purchased only from a telecom company, one of the more clever but clearly anti-social provisions in Western communications legislation. This gives the phone companies a truly ‘captive market’ in that, if you want a particular phone, you have no choice but to submit to all that company’s policies and to pay their demanded prices. A major difference in the communications landscape is that Chinese phone companies do not have a monopoly on the sale of mobile phones and are in fact minority sellers.

To buy a mobile phone in China, you go to any one of thousands of shops in your city, each selling hundreds of different brands and models of mobile phones, and negotiate the best price you can get for the phone you want. And you CAN negotiate: “There are three shops across the street selling this same phone. Either give me a better price (or a free expensive umbrella, or a nice stuffed animal), or I’ll go there instead.” Some Americans will recognise this as “competition”.

After you buy the phone, you buy a SIM card (about \$3.00), which contains your phone number, network connection authorisation, and some free air time. You insert the SIM card, turn on the phone, and begin making calls while still in the shop. That’s the whole process. Except for the SIM card, it’s the same as buying a toaster.

You can choose from various phone companies to provide service, but everything is pretty much the same and, while there are many various “usage plans”, you needn’t subscribe to them and can simply use your phone on a pay-as-you-go basis. Noteworthy is that in China you can change phone companies without changing your phone or your number. If you buy a new phone, you simply insert your old SIM card and everything is as it was. You can purchase a second (or third) SIM card and have different local numbers to use in different cities, if you want to do that.

For sure one of the best features is that the entire country is wired, even in remote locations. Some time back I was on holiday in Inner Mongolia and could happily send photos on WeChat while riding my camel in the desert. Given the extensiveness of wireless coverage, in more than 17 years in China I could count the number of dropped calls on the fingers of one hand. And it isn’t only China itself, but the entire Asian region that is seamlessly connected. I recently called a friend in Shanghai to invite him for lunch, and he said, “I can’t. I’m in Vietnam”.

If anyone from anywhere in the world calls me, the system knows where I am and my phone rings. I never have to think about service provider compatibility, roaming, and all the other restrictions that exist in Canada or the US. If I travel to Beijing, I receive a text message welcoming me and telling me my calls are now local calls. And in a sense, all mobile phone calls in China are ‘local’. The landline system still uses area codes, but the mobile phone system abandoned them decades ago and simply uses an 11-digit phone number, so calling anywhere in the country is the same. The system is so functionally useful that I cannot recall ever meeting anyone in China who had a personal or home land line.

The system also monitors abuses, presenting warning notices upon receiving a call from a number reported to belong to telemarketers or telephone scam operators. As well, the SMS system is used very effectively for some kinds of public notices like a simultaneous warning to 100 million citizens of an approaching typhoon.

Phone calls in China cost maybe \$0.01 per minute, and SMS messages are the same for sending; receiving is free. The typical monthly cost for a smart phone in China, including typical internet usage, is maybe \$15.00, compared to around \$100.00 in the US or Canada, and sometimes as much as \$200.00. Many young kids in China stream movies on their phones and can run up higher bills, but the \$15.00 cost is probably typical and maybe even high. I should add that in China the ‘basic phone bill’ includes all the ancillaries which are usually sold at extra cost in the West: caller ID, call-holding, and many others.

International calls have a special provision: I first dial a 5-digit number before the phone number I’m calling and that automatically places me on some kind of heavy discount basis. Perhaps other countries have this feature now, but I can speak to a friend halfway around the world for less than \$1.00 per hour.

Once on an extended trip to Canada I thought I’d buy a Canadian SIM card for my phone for the sake of convenience. That was a mistake. The phone company charged me \$30 for the SIM card and another \$30 as a “connection fee”. That last one rankled. In the days of land lines, the phone company had to send a man out to your house to physically connect your phone, so you paid a connection charge. But today there is no such thing as a ‘connection’. When you turn on your phone, the SIM card pings the tower and you’re connected. On my return to China, I discovered I’d lost my China SIM card; not a big deal but I didn’t want to lose my phone number. Happily, for 5 RMB (about \$0.75), the nice girl at China Mobile reprogrammed a new SIM card with my old number and life was normal again.

There is one other item I would raise that seems to be primarily an American phenomenon: dirty tricks. One such was Marriott Hotels a few years back using illegal frequency jammers to block guests’ Wi-Fi hotspots and other such devices, shutting them out from the Internet entirely, then charging them between \$250.00 and \$1,000.00 per device to connect to the hotel’s own wireless network. A Marriott spokesperson with the unlikely name of Gaylord Opryland, claimed it was only “a security precaution” to protect hotel guests from “rogue Wi-Fi hotspots”, and that the hotel used only “FCC-authorized equipment provided by well-known, reputable manufacturers”, i.e., the CIA. The claim apparently didn’t fly with the FCC who fined the hotel chain \$600,000 for the scam.[1]https://www.huffpost.com/entry/marriott-wifi-blockin...928678

Marriott Illegally Blocked People’s Internet Access And Charged Them Up To \$1,000 Instead
[2]https://www.commlawblog.com/2014/10/articles/enforce...spots/

Marriott Whacked for \$600,000 for War on Rogue Wi-Fi Hotspots
I suppose it’s possible this kind of thing happens in China too, but I have never heard of it.

I once had that experience on a cruise ship traveling from Shanghai to Tokyo. As soon as we boarded the ship, even while still in port, all signals disappeared and we had no choice but to pay the cruise line’s exorbitant fees to be able to use our own phones. I refused just on principle, but I discovered there was one small portion of one lower deck where the jamming wasn’t effective, and I could still communicate with Shanghai until we were more than 300 miles out of port. No idea how the signal could carry that far, but it did.

Also, there is something unreal about the mobile phone market in North America. I don’t know if I can define it well enough to make it sensible, but it has overtones (or undertones) of what appears to be some combination of religion and ‘national security’. It suggests there exists something intrinsically mystical or inherently menacing about mobile phones and thus the rapacious practices of the phone companies are disguised as necessities to save the country from unspecified evils. Yet a mobile phone is nothing but a toaster with a SIM card (minus the toaster part). The propaganda of greed.

Of course, capitalists in China are just as greedy as capitalists everywhere, so the phone companies are usually on the lookout for a way to raise the price of something, and occasionally make attempts, furtive or otherwise, to raise rates or sneak in more charges. But if the people begin complaining, the government is not at all bashful about kicking the telecoms in the shins and telling them to roll back the price increases. And they do.

For a long time, it wasn’t possible to buy a Wi-Fi hotspot in the US, Canada, or Europe; these devices had to be rented at a cost of around \$50.00 per month, and with about an equivalent monthly cost for usage. It seems they are now available for purchase, at prices ranging from around \$100.00 to many hundreds, plus usage charges. In Canada, they seem to cost between about \$300.00 and \$650.00. Perhaps readers can update this.

In Shanghai, I have two phones and I tether them, using one as the Wi-Fi hotspot for the other and also for my laptop, so I always have my own Wi-Fi wherever I am. It’s possible to buy a dedicated Wi-Fi hotspot for \$25 or \$30, and pay around another \$10 for usage, but my way is more convenient since my other devices connect automatically and I don’t have yet one more device to carry or one more battery to die when I need it. Plus, I have no bandwidth limitations, and never any service disruptions.

This is partially an aside, and you will no doubt hate me for telling you this, but the high-speed internet connection (DSL) for my home in Shanghai costs 500 RMB (about US\$75.00) for two years, and that comes with at least 300 TV channels; I haven’t made an accurate count. On the other hand, Canada has the world’s highest internet costs at around \$100 per month and showing no signs of decreasing.

The price disparities are not primarily from lower costs or wages, but that the mobile phone systems in Western (capitalist) countries were not designed for the people but for the mobile phone companies, resulting in the exclusive assigned regions, the resulting network and frequency fragmentation, à la carte menus, high costs and poor service. The few companies (with their assigned and protected markets) collaborate to keep prices high and prevent customers from escaping the trap. And US government protection of the telecom monopolies has been vicious: at least until recently, Americans would pay \$500,000 and spend ten years in prison for unlocking a phone, the act represented as some kind of abhorrent immoral felony when it was merely a justifiable act of self-defense against a grossly-predatorial system.

China recognised that rapid communications and transportation were vital to increasing economic development, some estimates claiming China’s GDP is 15% higher than would otherwise have been without its current mobile phone system, and another 30% attributed to its nearly universal rapid transportation, especially the high-speed trains.

The World of 5G

China seems to have taken the lead in rolling out the new generation of mobile networks with about 2 million 5G base stations operating now, and covering 60 or 70 major urban centers, essentially all those with a population of one million or more. The country installed more than 650,000 of them in 2021 alone, and the pace is increasing if anything. The number of 5G subscribers is over 500 million and climbing quickly. Also, in 2021 5G smartphones accounted for more than 80% of all handset shipments with nearly 300 new models released.[3]https://www.statista.com/statistics/1291496/china-sh...ments/[4]https://www.statista.com/statistics/1291342/china-qu...users/[5]https://www.statista.com/statistics/1119453/china-5g...umber/ Not only that, but China is already heavily into research for 6G, the next much-faster generation of mobile communications.

According to a recent article in the WSJ,[6]https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-5g-america-strea...046867

China’s 5G Soars Over America’s; In some U.S. cities, it’s slower than the old 4G system.
“At this point, football fans have seen so many ads from AT&T and Verizon claiming to have the fastest and most reliable 5G service on the planet that those without a 5G smartphone might think they are really missing something. Don’t be misled. Unless you are traveling internationally, you won’t enjoy faster speeds with a new 5G-enabled smartphone than you’d get on a 4G phone streaming games from New York, Los Angeles or many other U.S. cities.

AT&T’s and Verizon’s new 5G networks are often significantly slower than the 4G networks they replace. America is far behind in almost every dimension of 5G while other nations – including China – race ahead. America’s average 5G mobile internet speed is roughly 75 megabits per second, which is abysmal. In China’s urban centers 5G phones get average speeds of 300 megabits per second. . . fast enough to download a high-definition movie in two minutes.”

Many MSM media articles attempt to explain why the US has fallen so far behind in this area, but this is mostly propaganda with everyone avoiding the elephant in the room. Americans have a right to be disappointed in the performance of their telecom companies whose marketing hype much exceeded their ability to deliver, but this wasn’t really their fault and the blame lies elsewhere – in the world of politics and espionage, unfortunately.

Eric Schmidt, Google’s former CEO, wrote in a recent WSJ article[7]https://www.cnbc.com/2022/02/17/us-well- behind-china-in-5g-race-ex-google-ceo-eric-schmidt-says.html

‘Pathetic’ performance has left U.S. ‘well behind’ China in 5G race, ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt says
that “The U.S. government’s “dithering” has left the country “well behind” China in the race to build out 5G technology,” but that’s a dishonest presentation. The US is indeed far behind China, but “dithering” was not the cause. I will try to explain.

The Trouble With Huawei

There are two major issues here, both political. The first involves Huawei, the Chinese IT giant. Huawei was far ahead of the rest of the world in 5G, holds a large portion of the most useful and critical patents in this area, and had the current capacity to ship almost unlimited numbers of base stations and the rest of the 5G infrastructure to the world.

The first and most obvious problem was that (in the eyes of the US Administration) China was “eating America’s lunch” in IT innovation and invention and the White House wanted to derail this by destroying Huawei and clearly made every possible effort in this regard, including bullying and threatening half the known world against using Huawei’s products. Unfortunately, the US telecom companies conducted their marketing campaigns on the expectation of installing Huawei’s equipment, which hopes were dashed by the sudden violent attacks on Huawei and the eventual banning of their equipment. This left the US telecoms with literally nothing to offer and no place to go. Ericsson and others did have equipment available, but most of it was quite inferior and with little production capacity, leaving the US telecoms with no option but to goose their 4G infrastructure and present it as “5G”, which it wasn’t. They did their best, but the results were mediocre.

Huawei was suddenly promoted as unreliable and a grave threat to US national security, and the US telecoms thus became one of the innocent victims of the trade war with China. But what was behind this? Huawei had already been in all the Western countries during 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G, and there had never been a whisper of technical issues nor any concern with data security or espionage, so what suddenly changed with 5G? As it happened, Huawei’s ‘lunch menu’ was the smallest part of the problem.[8]https://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/politics/4059/

Huawei, Tik-Tok and WeChat

The Five Eyes

The real issue was espionage, and not by China. It is so widely-known and accepted that there is no practical value in disputing the assertion that Cisco and other American hardware and software firms install back doors to all their equipment for the convenience of CIA and NSA access. There is a video on YouTube where a Microsoft executive is challenged during a speech to explain why Windows had a built-in back door specifically identified in the program code as “NSA Back Door”. The Microsoft executive did not deny the existence of this feature, nor could he have done because he knew that the man asking the question was the person who discovered it. In the event, he refused to respond and changed the subject. And it’s widely-known that as far back as 30 and 40 years ago all Xerox machines and fax machines delivered to foreign embassies and consulates in the US were “espionage-ready”.

All of Cisco’s equipment, and that of most other American manufacturers, were designed to accommodate wide-spread NSA information-gathering on Americans, as evidenced by Edward Snowden, but even this was the smaller part of the problem. The real issue was the US’ creation of the “Five Eyes” espionage network that included Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Briefly, this was set up to break every law in the book while pretending no laws were being broken. It is generally against the law for a government to spy on its own citizens, but that law doesn’t apply to a foreign government. So, Canada spies on Australian citizens and sends the information to the Australian spooks who can claim they did nothing wrong. Rinse and repeat.

According to Snowden, the Five Eyes was a “supra-national intelligence organisation that does not answer to the known laws of its own countries”, his documents clearly revealing that these five countries were “spying on one another’s citizens and sharing the collected information with each other in order to circumvent restrictive domestic regulations on surveillance of citizens”.

But suddenly Huawei is replacing Cisco and those other American firms with its better and less expensive products and filling the American mobile phone landscape with Huawei equipment. This part might be troublesome but manageable, but the CIA and NSA can hardly approach Huawei and ask the company to build back doors into their equipment so the US can spy on everybody including China. There is no solution to this problem. With the installation of Huawei equipment into these five countries, Five Eyes is dead in the water, and the US government was forced to make a decision between providing world-class 5G communications for the benefit of the country or to protect the functioning espionage network. They chose the latter. And it wasn’t sufficient to ban Huawei only from the US because this company’s equipment would castrate the NSA’s effort in the other four nations. Thus, US bullying to ensure each of its five eyes is Huawei-free.

There was no way to explain this to the public. We could not have an NYT article telling the American people that they cannot have a 5G phone system because that would prevent NSA and CIA spying, so the only option was to trash Huawei’s reputation as a grave security threat, and hype that ridiculous accusation to the point where the public would accept an inferior service. And that’s the entire story, like it or not.

Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 32 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. (Chapt. 2 — Dealing with Demons). http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/politics/2187/

His full archive can be seen at: http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/ and https://www.moonofshanghai.com/

He can be contacted at: [email protected]

Notes

[1] https://www.huffpost.com/entry/marriott-wifi-blocking-fcc-charge_n_5928678

Marriott Illegally Blocked People’s Internet Access And Charged Them Up To \$1,000 Instead

[2] https://www.commlawblog.com/2014/10/articles/enforcement-activities-fines-forfeitures-etc/marriott-whacked-for-600000-for-war-on-rogue-wi-fi-hotspots/

Marriott Whacked for \$600,000 for War on Rogue Wi-Fi Hotspots

[3] https://www.statista.com/statistics/1291496/china-share-of-5g-smartphone-shipments/

[4] https://www.statista.com/statistics/1291342/china-quarterly-number-of-5g-end-users/

[5] https://www.statista.com/statistics/1119453/china-5g-base-station-number/

[6] https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-5g-america-streaming-speed-midband-investment-innovation-competition-act-semiconductor-biotech-ai-11645046867

China’s 5G Soars Over America’s; In some U.S. cities, it’s slower than the old 4G system.

[7] https://www.cnbc.com/2022/02/17/us-well- behind-china-in-5g-race-ex-google-ceo-eric-schmidt-says.html

‘Pathetic’ performance has left U.S. ‘well behind’ China in 5G race, ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt says

[8] https://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/politics/4059/

Huawei, Tik-Tok and WeChat

 
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  1. Anon[338] • Disclaimer says:

    Exactly. Monopolies.

    “It all started with Phonebloks. It was the first open-source modular smartphone concept to arrive in early 2013. The Dutch designer Dave Hakkens put together a video representation of the modular smartphone concept, and it gained a lot of attention. Of course, it was an incredible concept that major manufacturers did dig for eventually.
    Phonebloks needed the necessary resources for development, that’s when Google (via Motorola Mobility) came into the scene.”
    https://techreviewpro.com/modular-phone-modular-cell-phone/

  2. Why is this article on Unz? It doesn’t seem to be an “Interesting, Important” or “Controversial Perspective Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media”.

    Oh well.

    • Agree: Emslander
    • Disagree: Tom Welsh, TKK
    • LOL: Spanky
    • Troll: Legba, Hoyeru
  3. anon[266] • Disclaimer says:

    At the risk of appearing to be a shill, I think it is safe to say that China arguably has the best mobile phone service in the world, certainly second to none, while the US and Canada have arguably the worst, surely the most fragmented and dysfunctional, and certainly the most expensive.

    Add health care, educ and blackmailable leaders to mobile phon service for US of Lousy.

    • Agree: PJ London
    • Replies: @Legba
  4. @true.enough

    “Why is this article on Unz? It doesn’t seem to be an “Interesting, Important” . . .”

    Congratulations. You have identified yourself to all readers as a Jewish Hasbara Troll and a member of the Jewish 50-cent army. My compliments on following your instructions and making one of the first comments as your Handbook tells you to do.

    You have also made an admirable attempt to follow a second rule; try and get the audience to reject a person or idea on the basis of negative associations, without allowing a real examination of that person or idea.

    • Agree: Nancy, A B Coreopsis
    • LOL: true.enough
  5. meamjojo says:
    @true.enough

    You mean it doesn’t harp on Jews, blacks or other non-white ethnic groups? I find Romanoff’s writings interesting reading.

    • Agree: Rubicon
    • Replies: @neutral
    , @Ukraine Tiger
  6. @Larry Romanoff

    Man, that was hilarious! I’ve never been called a chew before.

    (sigh).

    okay – let’s try this:

    Wow! Larry – your piece on how much better phone service can be in China was so very interesting! It changed my life! Thank you!

    Have fun in Shanghai.

    • Troll: Hoyeru
    • Replies: @silviosilver
  7. @true.enough

    Larry’s just a China shill. Unz – for reasons best known to him – promotes shilling for China. In this sense, the piece does qualify as a Controversial Perspective Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media

    My view is that China may do several things well, and there may be many things that could be learned from the Chinese, but an American would do much better to adopt the attitude of “fuck China” than to admire her. This makes China shills’ blood boil.

  8. anon[197] • Disclaimer says:

    Good show! The JTRIG grunts have come to bicker and distract everyone from the point, that US wireless phones are not commodities or infrastructure but a crucial mechanism for repression through government surveillance.

    • Agree: JM
    • Replies: @JM
  9. Lavern says: • Website

    If you would like to grow your knowledge only keep visiting this web site and be updated with the
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  10. tl;dr: Interesting article. As a European expat in Japan being used to quality cheap services both here and back home (incl. neighboring countrie), I never imagined the phone system to be so bad in English speaking NA.

    However, from my POV, what you described to be the case in China isn’t that impressive, and arguably, even sounds like shilling..

    >At the risk of appearing to be a shill, I think it is safe to say that China arguably has the best mobile phone service in the world, certainly second to none,

    Sorry to say this, but you have only covered three countries – CA, CN and US – and from your description it does sound indeed that the situation in CA and US is appalling. Still, this is not enough to claim that China is the best in the world in this area.

    >in Canada and many European countries, mobile phones can be purchased only from a telecom company,

    Like where in Europe exactly? Because a couple of Central European countries I happen to be familiar definitely do not have restrictions like this. In fact, I don’t think any country in the EU has limitations like this, then again, I can’t vouch for countries I’m less familiar with, e.g. Malta.

    >Noteworthy is that in China you can change phone companies without changing your phone or your number. If you buy a new phone, you simply insert your old SIM card and everything is as it was. You can purchase a second (or third) SIM card and have different local numbers to use in different cities, if you want to do that.

    Believe it or not, MNP (mobile number portability) and SIM cards are no rocket science, but pretty much a normal thing in developed countries, including the EU and JP.

    But, in case this is supposed to shock the average (Anglo) American reader because it’s unavailable in CA and US, then wow…

    >For sure one of the best features is that the entire country is wired, even in remote locations.

    The entire country? Sorry, I don’t believe it.. You could have written you never had any problems connecting while in China (?), I guess that would have been more factually accurate.

    >This is partially an aside, and you will no doubt hate me for telling you this, but the high-speed internet connection (DSL) for my home in Shanghai costs 500 RMB (about US\$75.00) for two years, and that comes with at least 300 TV channels; I haven’t made an accurate count.

    Again, sorry, but from my perspective, this is totally unimpressive. 75 dollars isn’t exactly cheap. DSL is already pretty old tech, newer + faster i.e. fiber + TV is cheaper in both EU and JP. Not to mention that Chinese international bandwidth is pretty much sh*te (because of huge packet loss) during peak times, and there’s also the GFW forcing you to use VPNs for many sites, which also make everything slower…

    … Unless I got you wrong and by “about US\$75.00) for two years” you mean it’s not the monthly price for the 2 year term, but that the cost is 37,5 USD/y = about 3 US dollars a month, then, WOW, this is SUPER impressive! (even taking into account the above issues)

    >The price disparities are not primarily from lower costs or wages, but that the mobile phone systems in Western (capitalist) countries were not designed for the people but for the mobile phone companies, resulting in the exclusive assigned regions, the resulting network and frequency fragmentation, à la carte menus, high costs and poor service.

    Please don’t treat US and CA as typical ‘Western’ (capitalist) countries. Luckily, some countries other than the two English speaking North American giants happen to have have functioning anti monopoly laws and agencies. At the very least, I can assure you both EU and JP do not have this problem.

    >There is a video on YouTube where a Microsoft executive is challenged during a speech to explain why Windows had a built-in back door specifically identified in the program code as “NSA Back Door”. The Microsoft executive did not deny the existence of this feature, nor could he have done because he knew that the man asking the question was the person who discovered it. In the event, he refused to respond and changed the subject.

    Please provide a link to this video, as this is arguably the most interesting part in the whole article, but sadly, right now it looks like yet another unsubstantiated claim
    (I’m not willing to go that far, but because of lack of source, some mean people unwilling to give you the benefit of doubt might even call it ‘fake news’…)

    >There was no way to explain this to the public. We could not have an NYT article telling the American people that they cannot have a 5G phone system because that would prevent NSA and CIA spying, so the only option was to trash Huawei’s reputation as a grave security threat, and hype that ridiculous accusation to the point where the public would accept an inferior service.

    False dichotomy (Cisco + other US companies in bed with the spooks vs. Huawei) – what about other network equipment manufacturers, such as Ericsson..

    PS: While China is pretty high in the ranking (not that it’s a scientific ranking to begin with), it’s outside the top 10 for wireless and outside the top 5 for cable connections: https://www.speedtest.net/global-index

    Interestingly enough, another 5G leader – South Korea – is placed 4th for mobile (unsure about the prices over there, but I expect them to be better than in CA/US), and the US is 8th for cable (meaning it’s not that bad, just expensive? Perhaps someone from the States could expand on this?)

    • Replies: @Larry Romanoff
    , @SIMP simp
  11. Che Guava says:

    Last time I had to change my phone, I chose Huawei.

    My work includes documents on battery control ICs, but it seems that most makers just ignore that aspect of design, so battery life becomes unusably short for anything but ‘call waiting’ or ‘call time’ in a very few months.

    I am dissapointed to have bought a phone from a non-Japanese maker, but it still has good battery life after a couple of years of fairly heavy downloading and media play.

    As for 5G, though, I have studied the effects of EMR on lile for a long time. At the high end, of course, it becomes harder and more particle like, and more damaging.
    At the other end, living under H.V. a.c. electric power lines or sleeping on an electric blanket that is on is a bad idea.

    So is being near an ultra-low frequency source.

    I heard a very believable tale from an old sailor some years ago, he said that, not understand the danger, some of his colleagues would huddle about the microwave radar because it made them feel warm, and soon later died.

    I have no reason to doubt what he said.

    • Replies: @Legba
    , @Larry Romanoff
  12. Some of your comments about Canada are correct, others not. I think it is important that people do not compare situations between countries without context. At one time, 7 0f the 10 provincial telephone companies were government owned. The reason was not political ideology. Most of the publicly owned provinces started with many privately owned companies in cities or districts. The negotiated with each other over rates and fees. They were gouging the governments (and citizens) for rates. The provincial governments then set up their own systems to use. They continued working with the private systems in the same way those systems worked with themselves. The government system expanded to compete with the private ones, and began to expand to areas where private systems would not go. Over many decades the private systems offered themselves for sale. All were subject to the provincial public utilities legislation monitoring rates to prevent gouging.
    In the run up to the Free Trade Agreement with the US in the late 80s, the Federal Government decided that telephones were now in the Federal jurisdiction, not provincial. They ordered the existing telephone companies to allow “competition” and dictated the rates the competitors could be charged for access to the system. Where I live, the rate was less than the cost of line/number maintenance. All of the telcos, private or public were subsidizing the new competitors, until the competitors built their own systems. Some of those competitors still don’t have their own complete systems. The cost of my phone service tripled within two years. All but one of the public systems are now privately owned. In the run-up to privatization, the systems were upgraded to be digital wall to wall within each province. Layoffs began to make it more attractive to the bottom line at selloff. The rates, post sell-off have soared, regardless of competition, because unlike other countries, our population density, is very low, the cost of maintenance high in the sparsely populated areas, and the cost of paying the new share holders for the cost of buying what we once owned.
    There is a point where “competition” is meaningless. If there is a store selling a widget in a town where 100 widgets a year are sold, more stores are not going to increase widget sales dramatically enough to make up for lower cost.

    • Thanks: JM
    • Replies: @JM
  13. The US may not have the best data or cellphone networks in the world, but they’re good enough to watch port which is all it comes down to as far as most American men are concerned. One doesn’t need 5G to watch a whole lot o’ bumpin’ and grindin”.

  14. Legba says:
    @anon

    Don’t forget the lack of Abe Goldsteins and DeMarkayses Washingtons

  15. Legba says:
    @Che Guava

    I doubt what he said. Everybody onboard would knows how dangerous the FC radars are. Also, those radars are hardly ever turned on and never during times when guys could ‘huddle about’

    Your friend told you a sea story. He gets 5 Psakis

  16. @Euro Expat in jp

    “in Canada and many European countries, mobile phones can be purchased only from a telecom company”

    This seems to be changing now, or has already recently changed, but not too many years ago this was true, and it is still in at least several Western countries. I would like a reader to tell me about this factor in the US because my information is out of date.

    “MNP (mobile number portability) and SIM cards are pretty much a normal thing in developed countries, including the EU and JP.”

    Once again, this was not possible in any country I knew of. It is changing only now, or only recently, and from my knowledge it is not at all common in any Western country. Give me a list of the Western countries where you can change your telecom company without changing your phone or your number.

    “one of the best features is that the entire country is wired. The entire country? Sorry, I don’t believe it.”

    This is true, and your belief is not material in the matter.

    “this is totally unimpressive. 75 dollars isn’t exactly cheap. DSL”

    Tell me of another country where you pay \$75 for two years of high-speed internet with 300 TV channels included.

    “Chinese international bandwidth is pretty much sh*te”

    This is factually untrue. Chinese bandwidth is excellent, much better than many countries. This is why all the young kids can stream movies on their phones. And in the US, Canada, and other Western countries there is no shortage of complaints that the telecoms throttle down the bandwidth on “unlimited plans” for anyone who actually tries to use it. I have never heard of that happening in China, and it certainly has never happened to me in any place in China, not in 17 years.

    “There is a video on YouTube where a Microsoft executive is challenged. Please provide a link to this video, right now it looks like yet another unsubstantiated claim.”

    You haven’t exactly befriended yourself with with your aggressive and insulting comments and your own multiple “unsubstantiated claims”. Do your own searching.

    “the US is 8th for cable (meaning it’s not that bad, just expensive?”

    Of course. Many Western countries have excellent cable service and acceptable Internet service. It’s just very expensive. Canada is over the top.

  17. @Che Guava

    In China, for most brands, we take our phones to a private shop and have the battery replaced. Not expensive, maybe 100 RMB (\$15.00), and it’s like new.

    It’s more difficult with Apple phones, compounded by the fact that Apple is notorious (at least in China) for using software to degrade power availability, a practice that can make iphones unusable in a year or even less, forcing customers to buy a new phone.

    I don’t know about EMR generally, but there are many studies showing that living under HV lines produces much higher cancer rates.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  18. neutral says:
    @meamjojo

    If you want brainless ZOG narratives there is no lack of alternatives out there in case you don’t know.

    • Replies: @meamjojo
  19. meamjojo says:
    @neutral

    Or I could come here and read brainless comments from the likes of yourself.

    • Replies: @RestiveUs
  20. I don’t buy phones from telecom companies and I haven’t done so for years. I order a compatible phone on the Internet. The rates aren’t that terrible if you have a multi-phone family plan. What stinks, at least here in the Desert Southwest, is home Internet. High rates, little competition, and lousy service.

    • Agree: Bro43rd
  21. I’m an American expat living in Russia. The situation is much the same here. Fast wired internet + 300-500 channels on cable is less than \$10 USD/month. I use a lot of bandwidth for my work and I’ve never had any problems. There is no censorship except for websites that violate the law, which is a little stricter than the U.S. – content about growing marijuana, manufacturing narcotics, making firearms, and other illegal activities are blocked by the Federal internet authority. Cell service is also less than \$10 USD/month. I’ve never used up all the bandwidth in a basic plan. I think it’s like 20 Gb/month for a lot of the carriers.

    I’m not sure what it’s like in the countryside. It used to be generally bad, because Russia doesn’t use tariffs in the cities to subsidize service in rural areas.

    The cost of internet and phone service in the U.S. is absolutely shocking. On top of that, providers like Comcast and AT&T have absolutely horrible customer service. My cell provider in Russia does a little bit of unscrupulous nonsense. About once a year some new \$10/month service shows up on my bill and I have to be attentive to catch it. The last time it was for a “daily quiz game” that absolutely no one would pay anything for (it was via SMS). If you take the time to complain and demand a refund, you’re not likely to get it unless you spend a lot of time following up.

    But that’s nothing compared to the nonsense of backcharging people for \$200 cable boxes and every other underhanded cheating lying tactic Comcast has pulled on me over the years. And since they have a monopoly on cable and internet in my home market, there’s nothing you can do. I’ve maintained internet, cable TV, and cell phone service in the U.S. as part of alimony for a decade and a half. Yes, people make more in the U.S. than other places. They earn fewer goods and services than anywhere else too. Being a perpetual renter (mortgages), high taxes with little return for most people, and outrageously expensive essential services mean standards of living in Chicago are *much* lower than they are here in St. Petersburg.

    • Thanks: Larry Romanoff
    • Replies: @TheTrumanShow
    , @Anon
  22. @Larry Romanoff

    Thank you for your reply.

    >I would like a reader to tell me about this factor in the US because my information is out of date.

    Judging by what is being sold in Walmart at the moment, I think it’s safe to say this is possible in the States as well: https://www.walmart.com/cp/unlocked-phones/1073085

    > It is changing only now, or only recently, and from my knowledge it is not at all common in any Western country. Give me a list of the Western countries where you can change your telecom company without changing your phone or your number.

    This kind of thing seems to have started already around as early as 2000 (depending on the country) – here’s a list for you: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_number_portability

    > This is true, and your belief is not material in the matter.

    I said I didn’t believe it because you did not provide any evidence suggesting this is true (except your trip to a certain desert) – so just to be clear, you’re saying this is true, based on…?

    > This is factually untrue. Chinese bandwidth is excellent, much better than many countries.

    I’m afraid you missed my point. Nowhere did I write anything about bandwidth INSIDE the country. The problem is that quality Chinese INTERNATIONAL bandwidth is VERY expensive. Here’s a quote from one company providing hosting services (allowing to avoid this problem) explaining this a bit more deeply:

    “China Telecom’s CN2 GIA network solves a very specific problem: quality of service on routes to/from China.

    If your target audience is China, you probably already know that serving web content to Chinese visitors can be challenging. For example, regular IP transit channels are congested (overloaded) during peak hours, with packet loss rates reaching 30% or more.

    With this amount of packet loss, it is nearly impossible to reliably serve web content to Chinese audiences, have a web conference, host online games, or connect to your office or branch in Mainland China. In other words, packet loss can have a severe impact on your business. ”

    source: https://bwh81.net/cn2gia-vps.php

    As a final note let me add that because of the VERY high cost mentioned in the above link, most websites do not use this CN2 thing, which unfortunately results in a very subpar experience for Chinese users as explained above.

    >You haven’t exactly befriended yourself with with your aggressive and insulting comments and your own multiple “unsubstantiated claims”. Do your own searching.

    About me being agressive, I’ll admit I have a rather strong anti-CCP bias, and your opening remark on China having ‘the best’ mobile network got me really riled up (because I knew it wasn’t true).

    As for my insulting comments, is it about me having used the word shill? If it’s that, then sorry, I’ll retract that. Still, I’d like to point out that it was you yourself who used it inside the opening sentence…

    As for my claims, apart from the MNP issue I’ve already provided links for, feel free to tell me what other kind of data you feel I’ve failed to substantiate them with. As a sign of good will, I did provide the data you requested, so it would be nice if you could reciprocate with that Youtube link, in case you still have it at hand.

    • Replies: @Larry Romanoff
  23. Karl1906 says:

    Congratulations! You’re having “perfect” reception everywhere in China which also means you’re under total surveillance everywhere. AND you’re the one carrying your own surveillance device around with you 24/7. You don’t think this data will be used in any way or shape? Better think again.

    And I’m sure Western “leaders” and their WEF-handlers fully agree with that concept.

  24. Smith says:

    Same situation here in Vietnam (except for the part where you go out of the shops to bargain for an extra umbrella, that seems over the top).

    But nowadays, me and my friends don’t have much desire to upgrade our phones anymore, I still use a nearly 5 year old phone without issue (it’s an Oppo). In fact, I barely use payphone nowadays when there’s free Zalo call.

    It’s all about PC gaming and other smaller tech doodads like controller or tablet to read manga. I wish Nintendo would release a Switch 2 soon with better spec and DLSS, that would be ideal, gaming on the bed is top comfy.

    • Replies: @Larry Romanoff
  25. @true.enough

    Why is this article on Unz? It doesn’t seem to be an “Interesting, Important” or “Controversial Perspective Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media”.

    The best Romanoff article I’ve seen on the Unz site gets that remark!

    No idea about this person’s agenda, but it’s surely a mighty strange one.

    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
  26. @Legba

    Are FC radars the only radars on a ship?

    A lot of stupid shit goes on aboard a ship.

    Feel free to “circle back” with your experience aboard a ship there copper-top.

  27. RestiveUs says:
    @meamjojo

    That’s because it’s your job.

  28. What Romanoff says is applicable to most of Asia, including even India; one can buy a phone from a nearby mom-and-pop shop; one can buy a sim card for next to nothing; mobile phone bills are extremely low; one can opt for pre-paid or post-paid; data can be purchased separately; incoming calls and sms are free…

    Such used to be the privileges of American users. But ever since Clinton, who legalized practically everything illegal, and who allowed media to be caught under monopolies, crony-capitalism has become the US’ economic philosophy. From crony-capitalism to oligarchy is but a step (if the rulers gift monopolies to his favourites, it is crony- capitalism, as in Venezuela; if the monopolists gift ruling chairs to his favourites, it is oligarchy, as in, say, France?), and America has successfully crossed that step…

    • Replies: @Malla
  29. SafeNow says:

    and negotiate the best price you can get for the phone you want

    Interesting essay, but one quibble: Haggling over a commercial seller’s price is presented as if it is a cool feature. But don’t most Americans hate doing this? Buying a car has been the ultimate excruciating purchase, for generations, for precisely this reason. A Chinese woman I know, a naturalized U.S. citizen, once commented to me that one of the nice things about the U.S. is being spared the undignified, degrading process of negotiating prices.

    • Replies: @Larry Romanoff
    , @Rubicon
  30. The West is a ripoff – there is no doubt about that. And Mr. Marriott is certainly a con man and a scam artist but I find the fees you quote for connecting to his hotel WiFi unbelievable – that’s more than the price of his room.

    • Replies: @Larry Romanoff
  31. awry says:
    @Larry Romanoff

    Once again, this was not possible in any country I knew of. It is changing only now, or only recently, and from my knowledge it is not at all common in any Western country. Give me a list of the Western countries where you can change your telecom company without changing your phone or your number.

    It’s not common because customers prefer to buy a phone from the telecom company (the operator) on credit and/or at a discount (the downside being that the phone cannot be used with other operators’ SIM cards, but by law the operator is obliged to unlock the phone after 1 year for free, if the customer asks it – of course any private mobile shop/service will do it for money any time), so they don’t have to pay out of pocket for an expensive model. According to this article, there are only 2 mobile internet providers that sell prepaid SIM cards in the USA for tourists. Buying prepaid SIM cards doesn’t seem to be a thing in the US.
    Also it seems at least half of the US uses another mobile technology (CDMA) and those phones don’t even use SIM cards. Possibly that’s what you meant by that you can only buy your phone from the telecom company.

    https://www.traveltomtom.net/destinations/north-america/usa/best-prepaid-usa-sim-cards

  32. Franz says:

    Thank you Mr. Romanoff for another fine article, this time on a subject I’ve been trying to get attention about to friends of mine: The American Way of Life is a rip job. It makes me feel no better hearing that it’s just as bad in Canada and the others.

    But yes we need something like a conscious-raising real soon. Here’s an article from last September that touches on your essay. And it’s really sad.

    Do Americans Know What a Massive Ripoff American Life Really Is?

    https://eand.co/do-americans-know-what-a-massive-ripoff-american-life-really-is-8804aa6b65fa

    As the author says:

    How much do I pay for internet and TV in Europe? About thirty dollars, give or take. How much do I pay in America? \$150. That’s five times as much. And what I get in America is way, way worse…

  33. Ghali says:

    Actually, Australia is the worst and the most expensive on the Planet. In addition, security authorities, including the Police and ASIO are listening to every phone call you make. Further, mobile phones outside the big cities and away from Telstra towers are useless. I heard NZ is getting better. I was there in 2007-2008, and the mobile phone system was worse than Australia by many folds.

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  34. In 3rd world Ukraine I pay around \$10 a month for high speed, unlimited internet. It is so good that streaming all day, everyday on multiple devices is the norm. The phone is free so long as I use the same service as my wife which is basically the only time I use a phone.

  35. @meamjojo

    Too bad nobody finds your writings interesting.

  36. @Legba

    5 Psakis!! That is a 67% increase on the IQ of a clam according to Russian folklore.

  37. Stephane says:
    @Larry Romanoff

    “MNP (mobile number portability) and SIM cards are pretty much a normal thing in developed countries, including the EU and JP.”

    Once again, this was not possible in any country I knew of. It is changing only now, or only recently, and from my knowledge it is not at all common in any Western country. Give me a list of the Western countries where you can change your telecom company without changing your phone or your number.

    Phone number portability (customers are given the right to keep their mobile telephone number when switching between mobile telecommunications service providers) made it’s way in European Union directives in 2002, applicable since 2003 so about 20 years ago.

    Also while sim-locking a phone is not forbidden, the customer must be informed of the fact, and most EU contries have laws stating a time limit (3 to 6 month usually) after wich the operator must provide their customer an unlocking procedure if he request it.

    • Thanks: Larry Romanoff
  38. @former-vet

    Ex-vet; pleasantly eye-opening comment.

    I’m interested in moving to Russia, but I’m troubled by what I’ve read about the current covid restrictions there — especially in schools (I have a school-age son). If you would, could you speak to your take on covid in St Petersburg / Russia.

    Thanks.
    TheTrumanShow

  39. JR Foley says:
    @silviosilver

    You are a typical ignorant twit –typical American –loudmouth –ignorant – arrogant – mannerless lout —-

    • Agree: mulga mumblebrain
  40. Horus says:

    In the UK you can easily buy new or second hand unlocked mobile phones. Every high street is littered with phone shops. You can buy sim cards in any supermarket, corner shop airport, train station etc.. by the way you can do this without showing any I.D, simply walk in pay £1 and have a new number.

    4g coverage is universal more or less and 5g is catching up fast as is true fibre to the premises. The UK uses a mixture of Huawei, Nokia and Ericsson kit. The intention is limit the use of Huawei kit. Its well known Huawei made good telecoms equipment.

  41. Tom Welsh says:
    @Zachary Smith

    Possible a troll for US telcos?

  42. I have a Swedish SIM card and I pay \$9 per month for free calls, free text messages and 6 GB surf within the European Union. I can call Rome, Madrid, Paris, Berlin from anywhere within EU for free. With WhatsApp the whole worls is free. I think that is a pretty good deal.

  43. A few things:

    1) Did you get permission of the Mongolians to travel to their land or the Chinese running roughshod over them negates that responsibility?

    2) Marriott Hotels are owned by Mormons so it should not come as surprise to anyone that there was fraud; it just replicates their creed based on greed … just ask Mitt.

    3) In China, if enough people complain, the authorities will clamp down on the telephone companies but that’s not possible in the US because we have whores running the country and they want their pound of flesh.

    4) We, the citizens of the Five-Eyes, do not mind being spied on by each other because our masters, the Jews, demand that we be kept in line, for our own good and you Chinese need to appreciate the need to have such arrangements.

    Thank you for sharing the information!

  44. JM says:
    @silviosilver

    Larry’s just a China shill. Unz – for reasons best known to him – promotes shilling for China. In this sense, the piece does qualify as a Controversial Perspective Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
    My view is that China may do several things well, and there may be many things that could be learned from the Chinese, but an American would do much better to adopt the attitude of “fuck China” than to admire her. This makes China shills’ blood boil.

    Yours is a totally empty remark which challenges everything that is said in the article and at the same time nothing at all.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  45. JM says:
    @Curmudgeon

    The reason was not political ideology. Most of the publicly owned provinces started with many privately owned companies in cities or districts. The negotiated with each other over rates and fees. They were gouging the governments (and citizens) for rates. The provincial governments then set up their own systems to use. They continued working with the private systems in the same way those systems worked with themselves. The government system expanded to compete with the private ones, and began to expand to areas where private systems would not go. Over many decades the private systems offered themselves for sale. All were subject to the provincial public utilities legislation monitoring rates to prevent gouging.

    That’s full of politics. Australia had several critical government enterprises from the start because the private sector wouldn’t invest (railways, telecommunications). The prices became very political and so that increased the abstention of the private sector. New technologies allowed far smaller private investment to compete with the government enterprises on an entirely different and favorable cost structure. This surrounded the government enterprises and failing adequate new government investment, it surrendered bit by bit.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  46. TKK says:

    If anyone from anywhere in the world calls me, the system knows where I am and my phone rings.

    Uh- huh.

    Because the CCP is a benevolent spendthrift papa, making sure all it’s workers have practically free mobile service because of love, happiness and Corgi puppies.

  47. Emslander says:
    @true.enough

    Mr. Romanoff needs to update his assumptions about mobile phones here in the US of A. We do pay more, but we have all the services and options he seems to think we don’t have. I’m just an observer. I’m not a Jew or any of the other things he claimed his critics to be.

    I like China and once owned an Huawei phone, which I paid close to nothing for. I’m guessing the low prices was a way for China to spy on me, except there’s absolutely no espionage worth to anything I say or do. I’m an open book boomer.

  48. Malla says:
    @Old Brown Fool

    But ever since Clinton, who legalized practically everything illegal, and who allowed media to be caught under monopolies,

    But but but….Clinton was a lefty. That is why I say this Left vs Right is all bullshit. Marxists and big ass Corporations have loved each other often. This whole Marxist revolutionary Vs evul Capitalist is a scam.

    • Replies: @Old Brown Fool
  49. Kali says:

    I’m astonished that people are so infatuated with a toxic-tech that a debate over who pays how much for what level of service and who’s 5g is the fastest, is underway on TUR, at a time when people need to be seriously thinking of unplugging.

    That device in your pocket is reducing your sperm count and may also be giving you cancer. On top of which, it is being used to spy on you on behalf of your overlords and their corporate partners.

    It is also paving the way for the globalist technocratic state (be it multipolar or unipolar) to track, trace and dictate your every move in a rapidly approaching globalist distopia.

    I thought everyone paying attention knew this stuff (and plenty more besides). I feel like I’ve come to TUR but found myself in the Twilight Zone.

    Luckily for me Uncle Alvro at the local shop should be back from the market with 3 bunches of sweet potato slips for me. A couple of hours planting in the garden and I should hopefully have recovered my sence of reality.

    Tripping out,
    Kali.

  50. TKK says:

    Imagine if the Facebookers, the obese soccer moms, the self righteous flag wavers knew how much they over paid for prescription drug medicines. Americans are criminally overcharged for health care. And don’t even let your thoughts rest on dental care in America, as you might have a stroke.

    I would say they might start to act up, but we found out on January 6th what happens to white people in America who get uppity.

    *Remember- most blacks get free mobile service from the Government. It comes with their EBT cards. It’s called Assurant Mobile.

    • Replies: @Anymike
  51. Spect3r says:

    Wait… Is there no option to buy a phone without it being through a communications company in the US?
    Damn, that is wild

    • LOL: Agent76
  52. We now have 5G towers everywhere, and I can’t find one person who says their service is faster. What is the point of them if it isn’t better service? Funny how they went up in mass during the pandemic. Oh well this all might be just be the US. We do seem rather backwards these days. Just look how American baby formula is currently for sale everywhere in the world but the US. Anyway for all the snooping the providers and apps do we should have the phones, service, and our healthcare for free. You might laugh at the healthcare part, but all the hunch heads glaring at their teeny little screens will need some specialized healthcare down the line.

  53. @JM

    Well that’s true, but I just don’t care about what the article says. Once you realize the author’s China shill game, the interest in anything he has to say fades. It’s just normal to ignore people who you believe lack credibility. I already had such suspicions in the previous article he wrote – although I thought it made many good points – but it took this one to confirm it.

  54. @Karl1906

    It is true in every country that when your mobile phone is on, it is constantly pinging the towers and thus at least the towers know where you are. It it is also true in every country that if the authorities want to know where you are, they need only ask the tower.

    However, the only country so far that has been exposed to actually be surveilling and collecting this information on all citizens, is the United States. That was what Edward Snowden revealed, among other things. I think we can also reasonably assume all the Five Eyes countries are doing this.

    But so far, I am unaware of evidence having emerged that any other nations do this. And there has never been any suggestion or evidence of this occurring in China. I know of no one in the country who has any concern about being “watched” or “tracked”.

    The real-world situation is that, so far as we have actual evidence, it is only the English-speaking democracies who are subject to 24/7 surveillance. We citizens living in the Axis of Evil are so far spared this ignominy. And it is only the US alphabet agencies who have openly declared their intention to collect and store “every communication by every means from every person on the globe”. (I’ve paraphrased, but that’s indeed what they said.)

    So that unfortunately leaves you, with all your democracy and freedom, as the only people subject to this. Making uninformed and unevidenced accusations about other countries might make you feel better, but that’s not a mature way to live.

    You can do what Ghislaine Maxwell did, which was to wrap her mobile phones in aluminum foil so the signals couldn’t penetrate and the police couldn’t find her.

    • Replies: @Karl1906
    , @eah
  55. @Euro Expat in jp

    The information on “International Bandwidth” seems irrelevant and even nonsensical to me. WHO is streaming data INTO China? I know of no one other than the US propaganda machine, and that may very well be why the streaming is so expensive and throttled.

    On this, I can speak only from personal experience and from an individual civilian point of view, but I have never had difficulty, delays or hang-ups in sourcing material from the US (or anywhere else), including things like streaming movies if I care to do that. Nor have I ever noticed any difficulty or delays in sending large amounts of data in the other direction. I have never had anyone, individual or corporation, in China bring this to my attention, so I don’t know what the fuss is about.

    The reference you quoted is likely solid, but it provides no information as to who is attempting these data transfers, nor what is their intention.

    And yes, to be accused of being a shill, is offensive. Use your head:

    I am not an Apple person, but hard-core Apple fans love their iphones with a passion and will wax eloquently of the wonders to anyone who will listen. Are they morally evil because they love something and are biased toward it? Is it morally repugnant to you that I love my Ferrari and will praise it to everyone?

    Many Americans love their country, have a great bias toward it, and so what? Is that dirty? But according to you and to many others, anyone liking something you don’t like, because you have a negative political bias, is a dishonest fool trying to deceive you. Why does this make sense to you? Why do you want to turn a genuine affection for a country into something dirty and repugnant? I used to live in Rome, and I love that city with all my heart; I have an intense bias toward Rome, and I am not at all ashamed of it. Why should I be? But, according to you, if I love Shanghai, I am by definition a brainwashed troll with compromised morals and everything I say is a lie. The problem is not my affection for Shanghai or China, but the screws loose in your head.

    And yes, China’s mobile phone system IS arguably the best in the world, certainly second to none, and almost infinitely superior to that in the US, for many reasons. From your comments, you are clearly uninformed and your definitive statement that “this is not true”, is reflective only of your ideology, not rationality. Many of your other comments deserve no response for the same reason.

    • Replies: @Nervous in Stalingrad
  56. Agent76 says:

    May 17, 2020 EMF exposure and babies

    We do know that EMFs have been shown to affect our cells on a DNA level. NBCI study The WHO is concerned with childhood cancer and delayed development. WHO Other potential concerns are headaches, anxiety, brain fog, adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances, frequent illnesses, and the list goes on.

    https://www.nightingalenightnurses.com/emf-exposure-and-babies/

    Mar 9, 2022 Cell Phone and Wi-Fi Radiation Damages Sperm and Impacts Fertility

    Apr 8, 2022 5G: Science Shows Health Effects From Wireless City Council Presentation

  57. Back in October of 2019, Gumshoe News gave a detailed expose’ concerning the biological hazards of 5G. In short, 5G is very hazardous to living beings like ourselves, not to mention, birds, insects e.g., bee’s and so on..This same issue came to the fore with wind energy, where low frequency sound was driving nearby residents crazy and many birds were ruthlessly killed by those huge rotating blades. Or let’s not forget the bee population crisis that is so severe in the U.S. that we must import them from Australia on a routine basis! This major drop in North American bee populations directly impacts flower pollination and food production yields. The bees are currently enduring lower energy fields from frequencies found in 3G and 4G, imagine the ecological and biological impact with a much greater field density per cubic meter with 5G technology. This new communications bandwidth, has been scientifically studied, over twenty five thousand papers so far, they all show that 5G is hazardous to humans. RF/MW radiation biological effects should result in western governments mutually agreeing to dump any major large investments or deployments. By some legalistic and cleaver dodge, the FCC industry guidelines apply only to radio frequency radiation exposures (biological measure) of six minutes and not whole body, 24 hours a day, every day! Both the USA and Brittan permit limits that are thousands of times higher than many other first world countries allow. Just like the pharmaceutical industry and all it’s recalls on dangerous Rx drugs, pulled off shelves, example Vioxx, the moguls do what they please, when they please all by the seat of their pants and we, the proles of this world are their guinea pigs!

  58. Anon[338] • Disclaimer says:

    @Larry Romanoff

    “However, the only country so far that has been exposed to actually be surveilling and collecting this information on all citizens, is the United States.”

    I agree, and this has huge implications. The secret police of countries in the past doing terrible things to the population has been the cause of many revolution and even war. Especially when the people know their freedom has been denied in the form of surveillance and freedom. What I believe is interesting is that the very surveillance we use to prevent crime allows for the State and the private institutions to do exactly what they prevent often times making that an interesting contradiction. I think most people do not care because even if they are imperfect they know they are really not all that bad so who cares if this is happening, and they simply do not understand how that data may be used in the future. Most of us are worried about making lunch for the next day, doing dishes, and mowing the lawn; therefore not really thinking about what abuses may result of this behavior.

    Age of Surveillance Capitalism

  59. @Smith

    Perhaps my comment about the umbrella was misunderstood. In China it is very common for a shop-keeper to give a customer a “gift” as an incentive to buy while not reducing the price of the article being purchased. In a clothing shop, the owner might offer to throw in (or you might ask for) a few fine shirts to be included in the price of a suit. This way, the shop doesn’t obtain a reputation for heavy price discounting but covers it off in other ways.

    A mobile phone shop might offer to throw in a couple of SIM cards or a free charger, for instance, but some of them do have usual commodities like nice umbrellas or stuffed animals or cute little bags that they will include with the purchase.

    Even a grocery lady will throw in some free ginger or bunches of green onions if you think her price is a bit high. That’s just how things are done there. It’s a good system.

  60. Che Guava says:
    @Larry Romanoff

    Larry, thank you, and excuse my reply to your very long article, guess I should read the remaining three-fifths.

    I am serious about the Huawei phone’s battery life and management, and the apparent stupidity of makers that include a battery-managing IC, but don’t use it.

    Perhaps Huawei also used, in export models, those better batteries that you say are separate purchase in China.

    I think the main thing is that the designers actually use the battery and power ICs in the intended way, which others seem to ignore.

    EMR, I think electric blankets now come with a warning to switch off before sleeping. ELF waves close to the resonance frequencies of the Earth, also much documentation of negative effects. That mainly affects people living near bases for use in submarine comms, AFAIK.

    Mobile phones, when the frequencies were much lower, but already on the ‘hard’ side of the EM spectrum back in the nineties, several reports on adverse effects were published.

    As a principle of physics, the higher the frequency, the more particle-like EMR is.

    I mis-stated in recounting the old sailors statement on other sailor’s statement on his shipmates sticking close to the microwave band radar to be warm, more accurate is ‘many later died”.

  61. @Karl1906

    “You’re having “perfect” reception everywhere in China which also means you’re under total surveillance everywhere.”

    That is why living in a rural area without cell phone service is a big plus.

    Hopefully it never works out here in the deep woods.

    • Replies: @Karl1906
  62. @SafeNow

    “one of the nice things about the U.S. is being spared the undignified, degrading process of negotiating prices.”

    Few people in Western countries, including “US-naturalised Chinese”, have little to no experience in bargaining, and most will at first find the process confusing and deflating, although I have never heard it described as “undignified” or “degrading”. If you are buying a car, a failure to do hard bargaining is a serious loss to you, involving potentially tens of thousands of dollars, so why wouldn’t you do it? What is “degrading” about forcing a dealer to discount his price by \$10,000 or lose you to the dealer down the street?

    Bargaining is a natural process in many countries, part of the culture and taken for granted. In very many shops the prices aren’t even listed; the shop owner starts high and expects a negotiation on price. That is at first really difficult for some Westerners to contemplate because they don’t know what a fair price is, nor do they know how low a dealer will go. They are lost.

    Shanghai once had a fabulous outdoor clothing market with thousands of shops, many selling exactly the same items and brands. I learned by selecting one item at one shop and doing my best at bargaining – which was abysmal. No matter. I then went to another shop selling the same item and tried again. It took a while, but I eventually learned where the bottoms were, and the best way to get there.

    Negotiating is an art, and a game, and also often entertainment. If you can do it in a good spirit and make it enjoyable, you can do well. Sometimes in a shop, a lady is intent on getting what she thinks is a sure sale, and praising the product. I derail her sales pitch by telling her that her hair looks really nice that way, and turn to another product, appearing to lose interest. When she tries again, I derail her again in the middle of her sales pitch by asking if she has a boyfriend. Of course, she knows what I’m doing but it’s all light-hearted and fun, and if everyone, including all the bystanders, are all laughing out loud by the end, the price is often very low.

    • Replies: @TKK
    , @SafeNow
  63. @Commentator Mike

    Why do you suppose I provided the reference links?

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/marriott-wifi-blocking-fcc-charge_n_5928678

    Marriott Illegally Blocked People’s Internet Access And Charged Them Up To \$1,000 Instead

    • Thanks: Commentator Mike
  64. Che Guava says:
    @Legba

    I don’t think that would have been true at the time. Also, you seem to assume a modern U.S. svstem, I have no idea what FC in FC radar even means.

    • Replies: @Voyager III
  65. After you buy the phone, you buy a SIM card (about \$3.00), which contains your phone number, network connection authorisation, and some free air time. You insert the SIM card, turn on the phone, and begin making calls while still in the shop. That’s the whole process.

    It could well be the whole process, but I would be willing to swear there is a critical step involving the potential phone purchaser showing their ID to the phone vendor and/or government.

    (Is this not the case?)

    China, after all, is the country known for this:

    “Allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step”

    People being able to purchase phones anonymously for cash with no way to trace it back to them does not sound at all like China (I could be wrong about this). If the potential customer is in no way required to show his/her ID when purchasing their phone/SIM card, I would be quite surprised to hear it.

    • Replies: @Larry Romanoff
  66. @Larry Romanoff

    I am not an Apple person, but hard-core Apple fans love their iphones with a passion and will wax eloquently of the wonders to anyone who will listen.

    Sorry, by “wax eloquently” do you mean, “bore people stiff by quickly making it apparent they rarely, if ever, understand the technology behind the overpriced, second-rate toys they are buying”?

    (If you have ever found yourself providing impromptu tech support for these people, you know exactly what I mean.)

    One does not need to talk to “Apple fans” very long to realise they are not interested in purchasing mobile phones. Rather, they are interested in purchasing handheld fashion statements. Having said that, I do respect the fact that Apple understands branding in a way few other companies do by convincing people to buy their dreadfully overpriced phones time and again.

  67. @Nervous in Stalingrad

    “I would be willing to swear there is a critical step involving the potential phone purchaser showing their ID to the phone vendor and/or government.”

    Yes, you are perfectly correct in this. As in most countries, at least in the West, you must provide ID today. It was possible until recently that we could buy and use phones in China without this, but the government found that there were phone scams being perpetrated and even encouraged by the fact that the phones were not traceable. So the system changed.

    And, if I could ask a favor, please spare us the “Chinese philosophy”:

    China, after all, is the country known for this:

    “Allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step”

    Quotations that are totally misunderstood and taken out of context, do not do credit to you and serve only to mislead other readers.

  68. @Che Guava

    The FC means Fire Control radar.
    It is used to aim weaponry.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  69. Karl1906 says:
    @Larry Romanoff

    EVERY country in the world at least sells and/or uses the data in some way or the other. EVERY… SINGLE… ONE.

    There are no exceptions, only more or less democratic states. Or those who simply don’t have the means to put a 24/7 surveillance apparatus behind the data they collect. But they ALL and sure as hell want to if they get the opportunity. And China has a social credit system using this already to its fullest extent.

    There’s a great SF-film from the 1960s called “Ikarie XB1”. It’s from Czechoslovakia. This shows an utopian and socialist society and there’s total (camera) surveillance on this space ship called the Ikarie (Icarus). But they willingly “end” it in front of the cabins of the ship’s crew. Because they consider themselves “civilised” and “respect the private sphere” of the individual. So much for the 1960s and socialist utopia.

    We’re now in a “future” where all the capitalists and their political cronies claim at every opportunity that they have “our interest” and “civil rights” in mind and will NOT sell our data or try to use it for surveillance. And yet they sell us out at every opportunity possible. Without exception. Nowhere on this planet.

    You just find out later. If you’re lucky. Or if things go bad for you and the “meta data” from your smartphone means a hellfire rocket from a drone coming down on you.

  70. Anymike says:

    This just illustrates the political danger the American political system is. When the man comes along who say he can make the phones run on time, we’re in trouble.

  71. Karl1906 says:
    @Justvisiting

    Oh, they’ll try for sure. And the fact that China already has “perfect reception” everywhere means just that. They also have the social credit system to go with it.

    The only way is NOT to use the technology. And to make them produce stuff that cannot be abused that way. And that’s the last thing they will do – tech companies, capitalists and (their) politicians.

  72. Anymike says:
    @TKK

    The pharmaceutical business is so bizarre that a cash customer pays more for medicine, not less. What other business is there where the full cash on the spot customer pays more?

    • Agree: TKK
  73. schrub says:
    @true.enough

    I don’t know why this article is here either. A lot of the information presented in it is either misleading or just wrong.

    The author is “At the risk of appearing a shill” because he apparently is.

    I would prefer a phone system that was a little less efficient if the alternative was system like China’s with its all pervasive governmental spying and tracking.

    • LOL: Thim
    • Replies: @Emslander
  74. Anymike says:
    @silviosilver

    It proves, we need totalitarianism with American characteristics.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  75. peterike says:

    I won’t argue that American prices for cell service, cable TV, etc. are absurd. But a few quibbles.

    And you CAN negotiate: “There are three shops across the street selling this same phone. Either give me a better price (or a free expensive umbrella, or a nice stuffed animal), or I’ll go there instead.” Some Americans will recognise this as “competition”.

    That’s not competition. It’s barbaric peasant culture. Who the hell wants to argue over everything they buy? It’s absurd. Fixed pricing is one of the glories of the Anglo-Saxon and Germanic worlds, and it is precisely as it should be. As was honest dealing, which is fast dying out. Somehow, car buying culture devolved away from this, which is why so many people hate buying a car in America, and why the future of car buying is online. No haggling. Bargaining is for filthy peasant cultures like Asians and Middle Easterners. No thanks.

    The first and most obvious problem was that (in the eyes of the US Administration) China was “eating America’s lunch” in IT innovation and invention and the White House wanted to derail this by destroying Huawei and clearly made every possible effort in this regard, including bullying and threatening half the known world against using Huawei’s products.

    Good! That is exactly how a nationalistic trade policy should work, and it’s rare enough in America that we ever do this. This should be standard across every industry.

    And besides, the reason China is now ahead of America in many technologies is they simply stole it to get up to the starting line, or it was sold to them by massively corrupt American politicians and industrialists. Selling technology to China was a big, big issue in the Clinton administration that was totally ignored by the media, the same way China’s continual industrial and academic espionage is ignored. I don’t blame China. If someone lets you play them for a sucker, you do it. It’s our own corruption and stupidity that lets it happen.

    There should not be a single Chinese citizen attending or instructing in American universities, yet there are hundreds of thousands of them every year. We’re chumps and China knows it.

    But suddenly Huawei is replacing Cisco and those other American firms with its better and less expensive products

    Huawei stole Cisco’s technology lock, stock and barrel. They didn’t even try to hide it. They blatantly stole Cisco’s router operating system. Huawei uses the exact same command line. At least they did at the time, they no doubt have moved past it now. But that’s how they started, by theft. And America was sucker enough to train thousands of Chinese engineers at their companies. Idiots.

    • Agree: silviosilver
    • Thanks: JohnnyWalker123
    • Troll: mulga mumblebrain
    • Replies: @Voltara
  76. @JM

    That’s full of politics.

    Everything is political at some level. Up until the early 60s, Canadian politicians were prepared to set aside their party ideology and be pragmatic to address issues affecting the public. In my province, the same government that created the government telephone system was opposed to giving women the right to vote, but ended up doing so when it became obvious that it had the support of the public.
    Today, it seems across the globe, politicians are overwhelmingly driven by ideology, and stick to the ideology even when it is obvious that it will not work for a given situation. In that sense, your observation about new government investment is correct for some sectors. It is a deliberate denigration in order to provide an excuse for selling off a profitable enterprise.

  77. eah says:
    @Larry Romanoff

    It is true in every country that when your mobile phone is on, it is constantly pinging the towers and thus at least the towers know where you are.

    Well, strictly speaking this is not true, or not necessarily true.

    A very simplified description:

    Upon switch-on, a UE (user equipment) performs initial registration — the network may be configured to require periodic updates (re-registration), and include a timer for this (usually some value in increments of 6m) — but this is relatively uncommon, since it generates a signaling load — when a UE in idle mode (see below) is in motion and crosses a service boundary (in 4G/5G this is called a tracking area; note a TA usually includes several cells), it will also perform an update procedure.

    At any moment, a UE is in either idle mode, or in connected mode.

    An idle UE will execute power-saving procedures (the modem will sleep), only waking up to monitor its paging channel, or to update (receive) system information (common parameters) aired by the network — during the time it is awake, the modem will measure its radio environment in order to make sure it is on the best cell — if an idle UE that is in motion changes the serving cell, it may also cross a service boundary and perform an update procedure, so the network always knows how to reach the UE (where to page it).

    When a UE is in connected mode, it measures its radio environment and sends this information to the network, and the network decides whether or not to order the UE to change cells (perform a handover).

    As a practical matter, on a modern UE (e.g. a smartphone) there are usually applications running, and these may periodically establish connections in order to exchange traffic (IP) with their respective servers — this could result in the ‘pinging’ you mention.

    But just looking at the modem and the technical standards that govern its operation in the network (as developed and published by 3GPP), a UE will not necessarily be ‘constantly pinging the towers’.

  78. TKK says:
    @Larry Romanoff

    Living in Istanbul for while, I was always embarrassed when Americans would try to buy a rug.

    Instead of welcoming the process – having tea, complimenting each other, making hours of small talk- Americans would often take the high prices personally and explode in an ego driven tantrum.

    I began advising American travelers to skip the rug buying and just go to the Grand Bazaar and buy some knickknacks.

    • Agree: Larry Romanoff
    • Replies: @silviosilver
  79. Emslander says:
    @schrub

    I would prefer a phone system that was a little less efficient if the alternative was system like China’s with its all pervasive governmental spying and tracking.

    I’d prefer a phone system that issued inexpensive telephones as interface devices and had options for cameras and computers at higher costs.

    This really is a silly article and, as you say, is inaccurate in most of its descriptions of what we have in the US.

  80. @Anymike

    “Totalitarianism with American characteristics” is actually what is under way. I can’t say I approve of it.

    • Replies: @Anymike
  81. @TKK

    Instead of welcoming the process – having tea, complimenting each other, making hours of small talk- Americans would often take the high prices personally and explode in an ego driven tantrum.

    So what? If I just want to buy a rug, what’s so bad about getting in and out of the store ASAP? Why is it necessarily superior to have to have tea and spend hours (!) of making most likely superficial and insincere chit chat?

    I can understand haggling on big-ticket items, but what a pain in the ass to have to haggle over groceries or clothes. America might be in bad shape nowadays, but that doesn’t make the ways of other cultures automatically superior.

    • Replies: @Voltara
    , @showmethereal
  82. Just another brick in the wall assuring the demise of the US—- that the public isn’t aware of.

    Parasites will feed on the host until it’s dead.

  83. SafeNow says:
    @Larry Romanoff

    A Harris poll showed that fully 87% of Americans dislike the car-dealer process. I realize this still does not respond to your argument that haggling is an acquired taste, and if people gave it a fair chance, they would find it is entertaining; still, that’s a high number.

    More generally, I am ancient and sensitive to what I perceive as an unraveling of the society into a culture that is – – you object to my adjectives but here goes – – brusque and charmless by comparison; affronts, humiliations, and compromises are commonplace that would have been rare when I grew up.
    Disclosure: Signing-off from California.

  84. Anymike says:
    @silviosilver

    That was the sarcasm. American characteristics might be not so great. We’ve had slavery. One of the bloodiest civil wars in modern world history. Labor wars. Mass surveillance. Mass incarceration. Jim Crow. Three generation of affirmative action depredations visited on the largest population group, mostly on the bottom “half” thereof. Now, efforts underway to supersede the largest population group, with making note of it deemed an informal thought crime, and perhaps to be a crime by statute at some time in the future. Leveraged capitalism the central feature of the economic system. Ghetto, barrio, trailer park and reservation life the norm for some high percentage of population and wars fomented and sustained worldwide by the Washington elite on both side of the party system.

    And the trains don’t run on time.

  85. 5G will kill you of course. Just a little minor detail.

  86. “… I was 300 miles out if port… I don’t know how fhe signal traveled so far, but it did”.

    Because the earth is flat. There. Solved it for you.

  87. Larry do you like Chinese food? My wife absolutely loves the stuff but I think it’s unhealthy junk. Please elaborate. Thank you.

  88. Voltara says:
    @peterike

    A negotiation is not “arguing”. It’s two people reaching an arrangement which is acceptable to both. More like “compromise”. Along the way you come to understand each other’s needs. To me this is a far more civilised approach than “take it or leave it”. Done in the right spirit it is fun and a great way to get to know people.

  89. Voltara says:
    @silviosilver

    If you don’t want to negotiate, just pay what they ask. It will probably still be cheaper than it would be in the USA.

    Nobody said it’s “superior”. It’s just the way things are. Is it not one of the reasons you travel, to experience different cultures and ways of life?

    Something not considered here are the legislated consumer rights in the West. In much of the world people are more informed and skeptical consumers because it’s all caveat emptor. In the west a purchase often comes with an inherent warranty. This is a component of the price. It’s not just about the deal you strike at the point of purchase.

  90. If the Chinese could manufacture their own chips, they would control the world.

  91. there are 3rd party companies with 10gb data plans for like 25\$ per month. but you do have to buy 12 months at a time and signal is not the best.

  92. Cking says:

    This story explains the warnings from the underground news services, that 5 G was dangerous to humans, a cancer causing, brain killing technology. With several issues and forces at work, did then President Trump’s proclamation to build 5G network across the nation backfire on him?

  93. niceland says:

    In ~1910 The Icelandic government established a state run phone company. It lasted until 1998. More or less it seems we enjoyed pretty good phone service and the company paid considerable dividends to the state each year. Our right wing was constantly complaining about this system. Not about the price or service (because they couldn’t find better examples abroad) but pointing fingers to lazy workers half asleep, leaning on their shovel somewhere.

    Traveling in the U.S. -few trips in the 1990’s- I was surprised how expensive it was to use public phones, short call to a nearby business required handful of quarters. Stark contrast to pretty much everything else in the U.S. that was lot cheaper than back home. Using a phone in; hotels, businesses (even those I spent considerable sums of money dealing with) wasn’t a trivial thing – like back home. Surprising.

    “Thankfully” in 1998 the Icelandic phone company was privatized and laws changed towards free enterprise and free market in the phone and the new internet business. It was great, prices went up a lot without any improvements in service. We were bombarded by advertising from these new companies (and still are) with endless “offers” and like many I jumped on the bandwagon and changed service providers every one or two years to get the best price. Strange as it seems I always ended paying similar amount within few months…

    Seems to me I am paying a lot for all the advertising, for all the hard work the marketing geniuses do when they create their packages and “offers”. All these new phone and ISP companies employ combined small army of people running their offices, marketing, and the rest of the overhead needed to compete. And thankfully the shareholders (including me) make good profit.

    So it’s all good.

    Problem is, compared to the old system we now have thousands of people providing “service” few hundreds did before. And needless to say we are paying for it. If Iceland wasn’t a country but a corporation most of them would be fired and the “phone and internet” division streamlined to cut costs dramatically. I am not sure if I am communist or capitalist to notice this.

    Ps. Mike Pence, then vice president of the U.S. visited us during his reign. He made two noticeable public statements. He thanked us for not joining the Chinese Belt & Road initiative, and warned us about the Huawei products – not safe he said.

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  94. Biff says:

    Things that are better since I left the USA

    1) phone services(nothing to add here).

    2) banking – no outrageous fees, bad service, and Jew jacked usury.

    3) healthcare – America’s foremost jacked-up monopoly with bad service and outrageous prices

    4) monetary security – civil asset forfeiture is not permitted(the largest incentive for the State to steal)

    5) sovereignty – no SWAT team is going to bust down my door and shoot my dog.

    6) freedom – face it, America is a police state.

  95. @silviosilver

    Racist Sinophobes like you are just shit scared that China is so COMPREHENSIVELY outdoing the decaying USA in every field, and are driven to rage by what you see as your racial and cultural inferiors proving themselves BETTER than you. AND China does it with trade and co-operation with other countries, while the USA uses aggressive, military assaults, murderous sanctions, active subversion and economic pillage through the petro-dollar system-but not for much longer.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  96. @silviosilver

    Maybe he can get a gig writing content for one of the cool new loudspeakers that are appearing around his beloved China:

    https://chinamediaproject.org/2022/05/18/speaking-loud-for-xi-jinping%ef%bf%bc/

  97. @Ghali

    Austfailia is a FAILED State. We are currently slavering for a war with China, that would destroy us economically and, possibly, entirely. As a Five Eyes stooge, we enjoyed being a running-dog for the global bully-in-chief, but won’t enjoy the fall from power. Expect much whinging.

    • LOL: silviosilver
  98. @niceland

    You can run a country for the parasites who own it and own politics, like the USA and other Western regimes and bullied governments elsewhere, or you can run it for its people, like China. Which is why the Western ruling thugs HATE China so very much, and are DETERMINED to destroy it.

  99. Half-Jap says:
    @Larry Romanoff

    It reflects poorly on yourself for overreacting to an opinion about how uninteresting and unimportant the article was for him/her, and what I find is obviously in China’s favor so thusly uncontrovercial.
    Also, where’d the Jewish Hasbara troll come from lol.

  100. @mulga mumblebrain

    Racist Sinophobes like you are just shit scared that China is so COMPREHENSIVELY outdoing the decaying USA in every field,

    Yes, there’s a lot to be worried about it with an ultranationalistic China intent on throwing her weight around.

    and are driven to rage by what you see as your racial and cultural inferiors proving themselves BETTER than you.

    That is nonsense. I am only too willing to admit to the ways in which Chinese are racially and culturally superior. It is a very good reason to be worried about them.

    You, on the other hand, are an anti-white asiatic, driven to triumphalist ecstasy by the prospect of finally besting people you have, I suspect, long resented as your cultural and racial superiors – although I admit the truth of this suspicion is known only to you and your therapist.

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  101. @Larry Romanoff

    My response is in answer to yet another example of your casual ignorance that allows youto indulge in careless erroneous assertions You say early and as part of the foundationl point of your article

    I’m uncertain about the US but, so far as I am aware, in Canada and many European countries, mobile phones can be purchased only from a telecom company, one of the more clever but clearly anti-social provisions in Western communications legislation. This gives the phone companies a truly ‘captive market’ in that, if you want a particular phone, you have no choice but to submit to all that company’s policies and to pay their demanded prices. A major difference in the communications landscape is that Chinese phone companies do not have a monopoly on the sale of mobile phones and are in fact minority sellers.

    Total time wasting baloney. There were dozens of questions which an online search would have given you the facts. E.g I tried first

    “can i buy an unlocked cell phone to use in Canada”

    Try Googling that, or some other search engine.

    A glance at the Comments doesn’t suggest that I am missing anything important by stopping tmy reading at what I have quoted from your article.

  102. kwm says:
    @Larry Romanoff

    Years ago we visited France and stayed in a VRBO that had phone/internet/TV from Orange for about 40 Euros/mo. That was an eye opener.
    Ever since returning to California from my year in the ME where most people seemed to have “pre-paid” SIMs I switched to StaightTalk from ATT and bought an unlocked phone. That was in 2012 and I never looked back. I currently have a OnePLUS 6T (Chinese) that can hold two SIMs. T-Mobile is pre-paid (with senior discount) and roams nicely in the UK and probably Europe too, since it is Deutsche Telekom. T-Mobile now offers a 5G connection/WiFi unit for a nominal fee that can replace DSL or cable. Is it any good? Depends on your location as I understand it. Still with cable here. I am sure many places are better, but it is not too terrible here in SoCal when it comes to smart phone usage.

    • Thanks: Larry Romanoff
    • Replies: @Rubicon
  103. @true.enough

    Strange. So you know about how telecommunication functions and how electronic spying works?

  104. @silviosilver

    It’s called when you go to someone else’s country learn to respect its culture…. Tone deaf it seems. What is the point of going to Turkey if one knows nothing about it?

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  105. @true.enough

    Believe or not, it falls into the “largely excluded” category. In Canada, it is a received wisdom that things like Wing Mobile that try to not charge arm and leg (but still are like 5x more expensive than Chinese or Russian telecoms) cannot survive, cannot get any profit.

    Because, you know, the country is big, cold, you have to fight polar bears off the mobile cell masts all the time, so the expense of running telecom business is ‘uuuuuge. Russians having SIM cards for five dollars and that w/o two year credit plan, surely it is yet another Disinfo.

  106. @silviosilver

    You’re just a liar. China is NOT ‘hyper-nationalistic’. The USA is and always has been so. You are just indulging in projection, like your type often do. Do you know how ludicrous it is for something like you to be claiming to be superior to anything?

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  107. @showmethereal

    It’s called when you go to someone else’s country learn to respect its culture…

    It’s a good idea, I agree. Luckily, westerners are much better behaved than third worlders in this respect. And of course, westerners are usually only abroad as visitors. Third worlders typically come and plunk their asses down permanently, and even then they can’t get it right. Far from respecting western culture, they shit all over it, even demanding it be torn down because it makes them uncomfortable or something. (Imagine I did that to you, you’d be up in arms. But when it’s happening to me, you cheer it on. Nice.)

    What is the point of going to Turkey if one knows nothing about it?

    What a silly argument. People often travel because they don’t know anything about a given country and want to find out about it firsthand.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  108. @mulga mumblebrain

    It’s well known in foreign policy circles how ultranationalistic China has become. You can’t hide it forever. If China is preparing to avenge itself for one hundred years of butthurt, other countries have no choice but to take defensive measures. It’s quite simple.

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  109. @silviosilver

    Turkey is not 3rd world and has a culture as long as Europe and longer than many European countries. Height of arrogance

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @silviosilver
  110. Rubicon says:

    In America, any alert/conscious American knows we are being spied on by both the US govt. and Big Tech. It is, what it is.

    Next: as recently retired folks, we are paying Comcast over \$1,000.00 a year to have a functioning lap top, tv (streaming) and a “landline phone.” Yes, we kept our landline for local calls.

    We refuse to pay +\$100.00 monthly for the use of a cellular. Instead, we only use Skype to contact friends (0n Skype) including friends in Europe.

    And to show you how the high cost of living in the US now, looks like: we each pay \$2,500.00 a year for medical insurance.

    Auto/home insurance for one year: nearly \$5,000.00.

    Our European friends love their Chinese tech ware. A few short years ago, a French engineer created a cheap, but very good system for Europeans to use with their cellulars. AND, by and large, Western Europeans cringe every time they learn of the US health care (insurance) costs.

    Americans who work in a business, have muchly reduced costs for their tech needs.

    Do you have to have “medical insurance” to meet your health needs?

  111. Rubicon says:
    @kwm

    Thanks for the tips, kwm, but *how* were you able to purchase in the US, your OnePLUS6T??

    By the way, Larry, you may be privy to the kinds of items coming from China that may have been curtailed by the US.

    Example: ham/pork prices have skyrocketed here, yet, in the past, we saw how China to used export large amounts of pork products to the US.

    What about clothing? Is China exporting to the US the same amount of clothing as before Covid?

    We were hoping that China is focusing its trade, less with the US, and more with other nations who have friendly trade deals with China.

  112. @showmethereal

    Turkey is not 3rd world and has a culture as long as Europe and longer than many European countries. Height of arrogance

    Practically nowhere is “Third World” anymore except some central African countries, Haiti, and Afghanistan. The entire world is rapidly middle-classing. Hans Rosling wrote a whole book about this, inspired by trying, unsuccessfully, for decades to get through thick Western European skulls that the rest of the world is no longer poor.

    No, Turkey is not poor, but rich. That makes the presence of Turks in the West, particularly in Germany, suspicious in itself. What are they running away from? That’s the “height of arrogance”.

  113. @silviosilver

    ‘…foreign policy circles’. Do you inhabit such sewers? Nothing more pathetic than a brainwashed, moronic, racist, jingo. China is SURROUNDED by scores of US bases, and China has ONE overseas base, in Djibouti, and China is the ‘aggressor’. Go and stick your head up a dead bear’s bum.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  114. SIMP simp says:
    @Euro Expat in jp

    As someone also from the EU, I can confirm that everything the author claimed being uniquely good about China is actually common here and some things are far better.
    The only advantage of buying the phone from the telecom company is bundling the cost of the phone with the monthly payments for the data plan. You can buy cheaper unlocked phones from countless physical and online stores and everybody who wants to buy money-down a phone uses these stores.
    You can buy an unregistered SIM card and even have special data plans for the credit you payed for.
    High speed optic fiber internet + wireless router + (useless and free) landline phone + cable TV (including all national channels and some foreign ones) < 20 euro/month
    There is full mobile coverage of the entire country except wilderness areas.
    Excellent speed wifi is free in all hotels 3 stars and up and in almost all cafes, bars, restaurants, malls etc. There is even free outdoors public wifi in some urban tourist areas. There's no need for 2 phones, wireless hotspots etc unless you work in a place without internet access
    Free mobile number portability has been rolled out across the EU starting 2 decades ago as seen here

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_number_portability#Europe

    I've never received a spam or scam phone call.
    5G is getting rolled out but nobody cares as there are little use for it when there's wifi and good 4G coverage almost everywhere.
    Roaming from other EU countries is free for at least the first 4 consecutive months spent abroad. Intra-EU calls are very cheap as the price is capped by EU-wide rules.
    On the plus side there is no Great Firewall of China blocking foreign sites and no 2 million men strong army of online trolls paid from taxpayers money to shill for the communist party.
    There is also very little, if any, spying by the Deep State of personal communications partly because of strong legal privacy protections and partly because of the low budgets of european intelligence agencies.
    I can't believe that I'm about to say this but the EU is awesome in some aspects and protecting market competition, consumer rights and privacy are among these good things.

    • Replies: @Justvisiting
  115. @showmethereal

    I wasn’t referring to Turkey specifically, which is pretty obvious from the quoted portion of your comment that I was replying to . “when you go to someone else’s country” – See? That’s general, it’s not about Turkey. Of course, when Turks transplant themselves to western countries, they are only too happy to join in calls to demolish western culture – heck, they are often leading those calls.

  116. Che Guava says:
    @Voyager III

    Thank you. It may only be a sea story, but it was set in the late forties, early fifties of last century, so I still find it believable, after all, U.S.A., U.S.S.R., and P.R.C. all cnnducted nuclear bomb tests with the added feature of making many soldiers charge through the blast zone. AFAIK, the Brit’s didn’t, but their own test programme was a comic opera of placing their service personnel at risk.

    HF EMR, particulate radiation, few people understood the risks at that time.

    Depending on the phone, ever notice how it makes the hand feel warm, even if not charging?

    Of course, that is from operation at heating microwave frequencies.

  117. @mulga mumblebrain

    The point isn’t what they’ve done so far, but what they may do and seem to be preparing to do. Obviously that calls for an alert defensive posture on the part of threatened countries. How could anyone possibly pretend otherwise? Gone are the days when westerners and their asian allies could blithely assume that China was on the path to liberalization and democratization. This is all elementary. China shills who despise the west and salivate at the prospects of its demise will naturally be disturbed by this awakening.

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  118. @SIMP simp

    “There is also very little, if any, spying by the Deep State of personal communications partly because of strong legal privacy protections and partly because of the low budgets of european intelligence agencies.”

    It looks like the spying shell game fooled you.

    Snowden wrote at length that EU countries can (and do) spy on Americans while the American Deep State spies on EU citizens.

    Then they can both claim “no domestic spying” if they get caught.

    Meanwhile they just swap files with a click of the mouse.

    P.S If the EU spy agencies are a little short of cash the US Deep State will be more than happy to compensate them for being such wonderful and helpful partners.

  119. Rubicon says:
    @SafeNow

    Safe Now:

    “Haggling over a commercial seller’s price is presented as if it is a cool feature. But don’t most Americans hate doing this?”

    We’re Americans and we love haggling over prices. Sadly, in Capitalist America it’s become a rarity. But one product where you must engage in ” haggling” is in a decent price to purchase a car. We ALL know auto dealers are going to rake us over the coals so you have to approach these dealers with lots of ammunition.

  120. Zhao says:

    Another reason for the Hwawei hate may be that it is a privately owned company and NYC would not profit from its market dominance, but competitor share values would drop.

    • Agree: showmethereal
  121. @Malla

    Agreed. Only those vetted by the oligarchy can enter politics at higher levels. Both “Left” and “Right” are carefully chosen and groomed, and their ideological differences are about as much as those of “Blues” and “Greens” in the Byzantine empire.

  122. Anon[334] • Disclaimer says:
    @former-vet

    “ Being a perpetual renter (mortgages), high taxes with little return for most people, ”

    I told my boss way back in 1999 that he was right that the socialized mess in the Europe meant a lot of taxes which he was referring to .
    But the taxes they paid. they got something in return like subsidized housing , chela education. some pension and unemployment protection .
    What do you get here I asked ?
    He had no answer other than Medicare and SSIncome .
    I said “those don’t cover much and our taxes went , I said to manufacturing , flying . and dropping the bombs .” That’s all it does .
    He was not happy to hear . Hopefully his kids have injected some reality on him by now .

    ————————
    😡😡
    By the way getting a phone and using it is t difficult for foreigners in most countries but
    it’s impossible in India .

    Now they don’t have any public phone service or Internet cafe anymore .
    It’s a nightmare situation unless you can borrow one from friend or relative .

  123. @silviosilver

    China threatens NO-ONE. All you are doing, like the racist drone that you are, is projecting Western aggression onto China. China is surrounded by US bases, China’s friends are all under subversive attack by the US, the Western MSM sewer is FULL of Sinophobic hatred and war hysteria, but China is the aggressor? Crawl back under your rock, racist.

  124. Zoka says:

    [quote]
    To buy a mobile phone in China, you go to any one of thousands of shops in your city, each selling hundreds of different brands and models of mobile phones, and negotiate the best price you can get for the phone you want. And you CAN negotiate: “There are three shops across the street selling this same phone. Either give me a better price (or a free expensive umbrella, or a nice stuffed animal), or I’ll go there instead.” Some Americans will recognise this as “competition”.

    After you buy the phone, you buy a SIM card (about \$3.00), which contains your phone number, network connection authorisation, and some free air time. You insert the SIM card, turn on the phone, and begin making calls while still in the shop. That’s the whole process. Except for the SIM card, it’s the same as buying a toaster.

    You can choose from various phone companies to provide service, but everything is pretty much the same and, while there are many various “usage plans”, you needn’t subscribe to them and can simply use your phone on a pay-as-you-go basis. Noteworthy is that in China you can change phone companies without changing your phone or your number. If you buy a new phone, you simply insert your old SIM card and everything is as it was. You can purchase a second (or third) SIM card and have different local numbers to use in different cities, if you want to do that.

    For sure one of the best features is that the entire country is wired, even in remote locations. Some time back I was on holiday in Inner Mongolia and could happily send photos on WeChat while riding my camel in the desert. Given the extensiveness of wireless coverage, in more than 17 years in China I could count the number of dropped calls on the fingers of one hand. And it isn’t only China itself, but the entire Asian region that is seamlessly connected. I recently called a friend in Shanghai to invite him for lunch, and he said, “I can’t. I’m in Vietnam”.

    If anyone from anywhere in the world calls me, the system knows where I am and my phone rings. I never have to think about service provider compatibility, roaming, and all the other restrictions that exist in Canada or the US. If I travel to Beijing, I receive a text message welcoming me and telling me my calls are now local calls. And in a sense, all mobile phone calls in China are ‘local’. The landline system still uses area codes, but the mobile phone system abandoned them decades ago and simply uses an 11-digit phone number, so calling anywhere in the country is the same. The system is so functionally useful that I cannot recall ever meeting anyone in China who had a personal or home land line.
    [/quote]

    That’s word-for-word how it works in Russia, and I suppose anywhere else in the world except the US, Canada and Japan.

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