Phones in Taiwan

Guide to Living and Working in Taiwan

Phones In Taiwan

One of the first question teachers often asked in regard to phones in Taiwan is, “Can I bring my cell phone to Taiwan?” Simple answer, maybe.

Phones in Taiwan - ESL in AsiaGetting a cell phone is quick and easy!

The Taiwan mobile network operates on GSM 900MHz / 1800MHz so check the GSM on your phone before bringing it with you. Regardless, phones in Taiwan are pretty cheap and awesome! Often cell phones in Taiwan use cutting edge technology, as this is where they are made and tested before they hit the market back home.

More often than not, the easiest way to obtain a cell phone is to purchase a GSM phone in Taiwan or to bring one with you from your home country (ensuring of course that you have the proper MHz capabilities). Once you have the phone, you now have to decide which Taiwanese cell phone company you want to use. You can go to any cell phone store and for as little as NT$ 300 buy a cell phone number. You’ll have to fill out a simple form and they’ll give you a SIM card. This SIM card provides a phone number and voice mail. Your SIM card will be activated within 24 hours. Note, you will have to bring your passport with you!

When you’ve used up the initial phone credit people will still be able to call you, but you won’t be able to call out or listen to your voice mail messages. All you have to do then is go on back to any local convenience store (7-11, Family Mart, etc.) and buy more time. The clerk will give you a card that looks like a calling card that has a scratch-off serial number. You can use your cell to call the 24 hour help line and activate your calling credit.

If you want to use more traditional means of communicating there is always a public phone around every corner. Public phones in Taiwan are divided primarily into two types, coin and card. Coin phones accept coins in denominations of NT$1, NT$5, and NT10. For local calls, NT$1 buys one minute of phone time. Phone cards are divided into magnetic strip stored value cards and IC stored value cards, and can be used all over Taiwan. Magnetic strip cards sell for NT$100 each, and IC cards are available in NT$200 and NT$300 versions. The cards are sold in railway stations, bus stations, scenic spots, and convenience stores.

When making local calls it is not necessary to dial the area code. When making long-distance calls, however, the area code of the party being called must be dialed in first and then the number itself dialed.

International Calls In Taiwan

International calls can be made from private cell phones, public IDD phones, or hotel IDD phones. International calls are charged in units of six seconds. It is best to have a phone card when making these calls to prevent a shocking bill in the future. Teachers who have just arrived in Taiwan can make the mistake of dialing home straight from their Taiwanese cell phones. This is a good way to use up your minutes very quickly! It’s best to use a phone card, or use one of the 3 digit phone services like “002” or “016” which are detailed below.

The procedure for making international direct dial calls from Taiwan is as follows:

  1. Dial Taiwan’s international access code, 002
  2. Dial the country code of the country being called (1 for North America, 86 for mainland China, etc.)
  3. Dial in the area code of the called party (leaving out the long-distance recognition digit, “0″)
  4. Dial in the number of the called party
  5. For operator-assisted international calls, please dial “100″
  6. For international information, call this free number: 0800080100

Reduced price periods and fees for International Subscriber Dialing (ISD) are as follows:

  • 10:00 p.m. – 8:00 a.m. daily
  • 12:00 noon Saturday
  • All day Sunday
  • Until 8:00 a.m. Monday
  • All day on national holidays

Mobile Phone Plan Providers in Taiwan

Far-EastoneFar Eastone Company Logo - ESL in Taiwan

You will need to go to your local convenience store to fill out a form. The clerk then faxes it to Far East Tone for free. You will be active within 24 hours. You will need to prepare two forms of acceptable identification:

  • Passport
  • Work permit, ARC, International Driver’s License or Taiwan Driver’s License

To change your system interface to English:

  • Dial 777, when it answers dial 4

To change your Voicemail to English:

  • Dial *135*3#, press send. The change will occur within an hour

Recharging Your Phone At The Convenience Store:

  1. Buy the desired amount on a recharging card
  2. Dial 777, when it answers dial 1
  3. Put in the recharge card’s serial number

Recharging Your Phone Through An ATM Machine:

  1. Access the Transfer Funds Mode of the ATM
  2. Enter Far Eastone’s Bank Code: 805
  3. Enter “777″ + your cell phone number
  4. Enter the amount you want to recharge
  5. Call 777 from your cell phone, dial “2″ to confirm your transfer was successful. If you transfer the money after 3:30pm, then it’ll be recharged the next day

Taiwan (Mobile) CellularTaiwan Mobile Company Logo - ESL in Taiwan

You will need to go to your local convenience store to fill out a form. The clerk then faxes it to Taiwan (Mobile) Cellular for free. You will be active within 24 hours. You will need to prepare two forms of acceptable identification:

  • Passport
  • Work permit, ARC, International Driver’s License or Taiwan Driver’s License

To change your system Interface to English:

  • Dial 867, when it answers dial 3, then 2

To change your Voicemail to English:

  • Dial 123, when it answers dial 3, then 4, then 3

Recharging Your Phone At The Convenience Store:

  1. Buy your desired amount
  2. Dial 867, when it answers dial 2
  3. Put in the recharge card’s serial number

Recharging Your Phone Through An ATM Machine

  1. Access the Transfer Funds Mode of the ATM
  2. Enter Taiwan Cellular’s Bank Code: 012
  3. Enter “88″ + your phone number
  4. Enter the amount you want to transfer. The amount will be credited in two days.

Chunghwa TelecomChunghua Telecom Company Logo - ESL in Taiwan

You will need to go to your local convenience store to fill out a form. The clerk then faxes it to Chunghwa Telecom for free. You will be active within 24 hours. You will need to prepare two forms of acceptable identification:

  • Passport
  • Work permit, ARC, International Driver’s License or Taiwan Driver’s License.

To change your Voicemail to English:

  • Dial 777, when it answers dial 4, then 1, then 1 again

Recharging Your Phone At The Convenience Store:

  1. Buy your desired amount
  2. Call 928
  3. Put in the recharge card’s serial number
  4. Buying a recharge card is the only way to recharge through Chunghwa Telecom

Home Phones

Setting up a local LAN line is also possible should you feel the need. When applying for a local telephone line you will need an ARC (Alien Resident Certificate). The installation fee is NT$3,000 and you will have to pay a refundable deposit of NT$1,000. Monthly phone bills can be paid in any convenience store. Like utility bills, it is essential that you pay them on time. Paying overdue bills is a big hassle. You will have to travel to the phone company’s representative office to settle your account.

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