Let’s be honest, internet speed is not the most impressive thing in Shanghai. Between the great firewall of China preventing you from accessing your usual websites and the relatively slow internet speed (especially when accessing foreign website), internet can be quite frustrating.
So when you want to choose your home internet, you have basically 3 companies to choose from:
You might want to check with the operator where your mobile phone is registered as they might have some discount for you. The 3 companies are basically offering similar speeds, from a ridiculous 20Mb/s up to a still not-so-impressive 200Mb/s.
At the moment I write this article, China Mobile offers a 1,000Mb/s speed plan but only available in a few apartment buildings so check with them as apparently more and more compounds will be able to get this speed in the future.
The good thing, however, is that internet is pretty cheap and can be installed very quickly. Depending on the current promotions, you can get the 200Mb/s yearly plan for as low as 240RMB per year. As it’s a promotion, prices get higher for the years after but you can usually cancel the plan at the end of the first year without penalties. The usual installation and Wifi router fees can most of the time be waived too. Note that to get these low prices, they might install some TV box with on demand movies that you will need to switch on a few minutes every month to get the discounted price but that’s free and I think it is a fairly easy thing to do considering the big discount you get.
You can register for your home internet by going to the telecom shop with only your passport and your new address. The staff will then check if your new house is connected to their network and if so, they can usually come and set you up on the same day or the next day, depending on how busy they are. Some companies also offer an online registration so you save the trip to the shop but I feel that it is always better to go to the counter to make sure you get the latest promotions. But that’s just me…
So 15 minutes at the counter to register, 250RMB per year, free Wifi router and an installation within 48 hours, that’s pretty efficient! I just wish they could offer faster speed… But that, I guess, is just a matter of time.