If you are wondering how to make phone calls and access to Internet in Hong Kong, here is an overview of the region's telecommunications system.
Telecommunications, nowadays, are an essential part of everyday life. Therefore, you will probably feel the need to get connected once you have settled in Hong Kong. To keep in touch with your family and friends, whether they are in Hong Kong or abroad, you will also need a phone. Hong Kong has a very developed telecommunications networks, including several land line, mobile phone and Internet service providers. Below are the conditions to fill in to be able to access to these services. Make sure to choose wisely, according to your needs and budget.
Most land lines in Hong Kong are managed by PCCW which is the national service provider. But you can also choose from other land line service providers, namely Hutchison Global Communications (HGC), New World Telecom, City Telecom and One Tel. Note that first time connection is free of charge.
You just have to visit a branch of the service provider of your choice with your identity documents: passport and proof of address. You will then be bound by a 12 to 24 months contract. In case of breach of contract, however, penalty fees apply.
Good to know:
Local phone calls are free of charge.
Mobile phone services are provided by PCCW Mobile (CSL), 3 (Three) and SmarTone-Vodafone. Note that you don't have to change your phone number if you decide to switch from your service provider to another. As regards subscription, you just have to visit a branch of your favorite service provider along with your passport and proof of address. But these will not be required if you intend to purchase a prepaid sim card.
Mobile internet packages are provided by several phone service providers. Whatever the case, you have to visit your favorite service provider's branch office along with your passport and proof of address to subscribe for an Internet connection. For instance, PCCW, Hong Kong Broadband, Pacnet, HKNet and HGC Broadband are the main Internet service providers.
Rates vary according to the package and Internet speed chosen. Moreover, the market's competitiveness is boosted by various campaigns launched by service providers. Thus, you are advised to inquire a maximum on different service providers before choosing according to your needs and budget.
Given that Hong Kong is a very modern city, telecommunication services are also very easily accessible almost everywhere. Hence, you are likely to find Wi-Fi spots called GovWiFi which have been set up by the government. Thanks to more than 400 GovWiFi spots across Hong Kong, you can have free access to Internet anytime you want.
Some public means of transport are also equipped with Wi-fi, but you may have to pay to access to it.
PCCW Netvigator www.netvigator.com
Hutchison Global Communications (HGC) www.hgc.com.hk
New World Telecom www.newworldtel.com
One Tel www.onetel.com.hk
3 (Three) www.three.com.hk
Hong Kong Broadband www.hkbn.net