Setting SMSC on Android 4.4 KitKat

Working and living in Hong Kong nowadays means inevitably you have to go to mainland China occasionally.  I need to do so nearly every week since I supervise my company’s China business.  Then to keep connected to the internet and stay reachable while using a comparatively low cost becomes a key issue to me.

I have not found a good solution until a few days ago I bought a dual number prepaid SIM from China Unicom in Shenzhen, China.  The SIM card allows me to make and receive calls, surf web with 3G connectivity in both mainland and Hong Kong, and costs the lowest among all options I knew.  However one issues pops up when I need to send SMS from Hong Kong to mainland, as I just find out it’s one way receiving only.

Checked around the forums in both regions and even abroad, I notice it is the SMSC setting of phone has to be changed to the SMS number provided by the SIM.  My Nexus 4 is just upgraded to KitKat yesterday so it gets a bit tricky to do so, and luckily I find a solution, as showed here:

  1. In the Phone app, dial *#*#4636#*#*, a menu will show up automatically, select ‘Phone Information’
  2. Scroll down and find ‘SMSC’, click ‘Refresh’ button on the right to see the current number.  In my case a number in quote is showed.
  3. Replace the number provided by the SIM.  In my case it looks like ‘+8613xxxxxx’, then click ‘Update’.
    Remark: Some posts mentioned that the number has to be converted to PDU format using a web app here, in which their phone is running ICS.  I find it not necessary in KitKat and perhaps it's an improvement.  Just remember to keep the quote after clicking the 'Refresh' and change only the phone number inside is OK.
  4. Nothing will happen and no notification pops up, exit and make a test SMS.  I send one to my own number and also a friend to confirm.
  5. Done.  It is as simple as that.



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