Mobile networks in Hong Kong are independent from those in mainland China. Unlike there, in Hong Kong only GSM-operators are on the air if you buy a prepaid card there. Although HKT runs a CDMA network, there are few coverage spots and open for roaming only. The number has gone down to 4 in 2014 when CSL merged under the roof of Hong Kong Telecom:
- csl. (formerly CSL and PCCW Mobile, by Hong Kong Telecom)
- China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK)
- Three (3, by Hutchison Whampoa)
There are some MVNOs like China Unicom from the mainland or Lycamobile from UK as MVNOs in the market, reselling the networks.
Frequencies and Coverage Edit
Coverage is excellent all over the city on all networks. Except for patchy areas in the Sai Kung & Clear Water Bay Area.
|General||900, 1800 MHz||850, 900, 2100 MHz||900, 1800, 2100, 2300, 2600 MHz
(Bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 40)
|csl.||900, 1800 MHz||900, 2100 MHz
|900, 1800, 2600 MHz|
|3 (Three)||900, 1800, 2300, 2600 MHz,|
|SmarTone||850, 2100 MHz
|900, 1800, 2600 MHz,|
|CMHK||1800 Mhz||2100 MHz (HSPA+)||1800, 2300, 2600 MHz;|
Main bands are marked in bold numbers.
- 2G: As many operators are refarming the 2G frequencies to 4G or 3G, only few resources remain for 2G.
- 3G: The major 3G frequency for all operators is on 2100 MHz and have very good coverage in the city.
- 4G/LTE: the additional 2100 MHz band has been added firstly in MTR (metro) tunnels from 2016.
Registration and Availability Edit
SIM cards in Hong Kong don’t need registration and are sold in many stores. It’s easy to just walk into a 7-Eleven and buy a SIM card, usually they carry SIM cards for a few days. No need to speak Chinese, just say "SIM card, data" (slowly) and they show you the packages and you can choose. To activate just pop into the phone and call the number indicated on the back of the package (usually something like *102*22#). Reloading is harder then just buying another SIM card. However, reload vouchers can also be found all over the city in places like 7-Eleven or Circle K convenience stores.
If you want a prepaid SIM immediately upon arrival at the airport, there is a 7-Eleven just to the left after you walk through customs. There are also other shops like 1O1O (csl's premium brand, but they also sell csl prepaid SIMs) and CMHK on the public areas of the arrival floors after you leave baggage claim.
If you can wait, SIM cards for most carriers and reload vouchers can be purchased at a discount off-face value at Ap Liu Street (close to Sham Shui Po MTR station), up to half price for SIM cards and up to $35 discount on large-value recharge vouchers. These discounted prices are clearly written on the SIM packets themselves, so no haggling skills are required, and even those who don't speak Cantonese can walk around this area and will still get the best deals in town.
NOTE: When buying a 3 SIM at the street market, look closely at the packaging. Some vendors primarily stock SIMs for 3 Macau for travelers going there. A first-time visitor will probably not be able to tell the difference (the primary clue on the packaging is a reference to "three.com.mo" instead of "three.com.hk" seen on starter packs for local use). While some 3 Macau SIMs (like the $50 or $100 roaming SIMs) do function in Hong Kong at local-like rates, others are Macau-only, so make sure you are purchasing the correct SIM.
If you would like to pre-order a SIM card with a Hong Kong number so that you know your number in advance, or you would like to get a Hong Kong SIM abroad, many of them are available online to ship worldwide from sites like eBay, Amazon, or dedicated online stores like prepaid.com.hk
There are no special restrictions or any censorship with local prepaid SIM cards in Hong Kong in contrast to mainland China. Tethering (share your network as "personal hotspot") and VoIP calls are allowed for most of the cards.
Administration Charges Edit
Most of the SIM cards in Hong Kong charge an “administration fee” from HK$ 2 to HK$ 3 (depending on operator and plan) by the mobile operators to subsidize their license fee and other administrative costs. That will be deducted after 30 days of use with CSL and 3, while SmarTone and CMHK charge the fee at the time you activate the SIM.
Roaming SIM cards for mainland China and Macau Edit
In Hong Kong some prepaid SIM cards are offered, that can be used both across Hong Kong and mainland China. They are locally referred to as "one-card-two-numbers" even though they no longer come with a mainland number. The "Great Firewall of China” censorship is not applied to data routed through these SIM cards. So they can be a good option to be used in China too (see China Unicom section in article of China). However, these cards may also have higher administration fees, ranging from HK$ 6 (on both CMHK and China Unicom) to HK$ 18 (seen only on China Unicom so far).
Furthermore, some prepaid SIM cards with roaming data in Macau are offered, and newer, improved (read: packages that charge data usage on one side same as the other) offers means it's finally possible to clearly recommend a couple of one-SIM solutions for lighter users. From the Hong Kong side, the Smartone HK$ 98 starter pack is the more reasonable value, and from the Macau side, the 3 Macau SIMs are the most reasonably priced offer. For their offers and prices check our chapter about Macau (note that some vendors in Hong Kong, mostly in the Ap Liu market, carry 3 Macau SIMs, but will usually only have the $50 or $100 4G roaming SIMs for this reason).
csl. (formerly PCCW-HKT, one2free Edit
Hong Kong Telecom merged the two smaller networks PCCW-HKT and one2free to the new provider called csl. after Telstra from Australia sold their shares in 2014. It has become the new market leader in Hong Kong on its combined network.
Top-ups can be made online HK$ 50-300 or using vouchers sold in csl. shops, 7-Eleven, 1O1O, Van Go or Circle K kiosks. To top-up by voucher dial 179179, choose 1 and enter the voucher code. To check balance, type *109#.
An online prepaid management webpage "My Account" allows users to recharge (by credit cards, recharge vouchers), check allowances and balance, select data passes and value added services.
A monthly administration fee from HK$ 2.50 - 3.00 (depends on card type) will be charged after 30 days. In 2015 a general FUP limit of 6 GB per month on a SIM card was introduced, after which speed will be throttled to 128 kbps.
This page will mainly focus on the new csl. branded SIM cards. For those discontinued SIM cards, including old one2free, PCCW-HKT, New World Mobility (NWM) and old CSL branded SIM card, you may check details on their website. Although those SIM cards are no longer produced, they may be still available in the market and work as usual.
csl. Local Prepaid SIM card and csl. All-in-one Prepaid SIM card Edit
The Local Prepaid SIM is sold for HK$ 48 or 78 with the same face value while the All-in-one Prepaid is sold for HK$ 100 or 180 also with the face value accordance. Both types of SIM cards are available in all three sizes at 1O1O, csl, HKT stores, 7-Eleven, Vango, Circle K kiosks and other authorized dealers. They are valid for 180 days from activation or the last top-up. A monthly administration fee from HK$ 3 will be charged after 30 days for both types of SIM.
The difference between these two SIMs is that Local Prepaid SIM offers lower Hong Kong voice call rates, while All-in-one Prepaid SIM offers lower IDD rates to 30 foreign countries including Canada, China, most European countries and the US and the 1 GB package for a month.
For data you need to add one of these passes (available for both types except #):
|500 MB||1 hour||HK$ 8||*101*532*4#|
|1.2 GB||1 day||HK$ 18||*101*532*1#|
|2 GB||3 days||HK$ 38||*101*532*2#|
|3 GB||7 days||HK$ 68||*101*532*3#|
|300 MB||30 days||HK$ 38||*101*835*1#|
|1 GB (#)||30 days||HK$ 208||*101*835*2#|
(#) = only available for the All-in-one Prepaid SIM.
Multiple passes can be purchased at the same time, but the validity and use of passes can be complicated. For details check their website.
These SIMs also support roaming in mainland China, Macau, and Taiwan at HK$ 48 daily for 500MB (better value than the China-HK-Macau SIM). Activate by dialing *101*732*7#.
To all packages unlimited csl. WiFi is added (for Local Mobile Prepaid SIM only, All-in-one Prepaid SIM has WiFi included already once you activate your SIM card). To get password, dial *111#. The monthly pass is auto-renewing. To stop, type *122#835*1#.
This SIM is sold exclusively at 7-Eleven stores in HK for HK$ 98 with HK$ 58 credit valid for 180 days, 300 MB of data for every 30 days (until 180 days after activation) and unlimited free WiFi access. The card can also be used as the Octopus Card with NFC-compatible phones (need to top-up the Octopus purse before use). This card is available as trio-sim (for all three SIM sizes). A monthly administration fee from HK$ 2.50 will be charged after 30 days. These data passes can be added:
|1.2 GB||1 day||HK$ 18||*122*532*1#|
|2 GB||3 days||HK$ 38||*122*532*2#|
|3 GB||7 days||HK$ 68||*122*532*3#|
|2 GB||unlimited||HK$ 218||*122*532*4#|
|800 MB + 100 mins||30 days||HK$ 90||*122*532*5#|
All packages come with unlimited free WiFi.
These SIMs can be difficult to find; some 7-Elevens don't stock SIM cards and others don't know that they carry the 7-Eleven Octopus SIM. Your best bet is to ask to see all the SIMs they have available, and be prepared to check in several stores. If you can't find the Octopus SIM in 7-Eleven, you may be able to buy a different 7-Eleven Connect SIM card and exchange it for an Octopus SIM at a csl. store (it also comes with a HK$ 20 recharge voucher). You can also exchange standard/micro Octopus SIMs for a nano Octopus SIM at a csl. store.
Discover Hong Kong Tourist SIM Card Edit
This tourist SIM is released by the local Tourism Board and used to be on the PCCW-HKT network which has been merged to csl. now.
You can get the Discover Hong Kong Tourist SIM Card at any 1O1O Centre in town, including the new outlet at 5/F of the HKG Arrival Hall, more than 2,000 7-Eleven, Circle K or VanGO convenience stores, csl or HKT shops, the Hong Kong Tourism Board’s Kowloon Visitor Centre at the Star Ferry Concourse in Tsim Sha Tsui, GaryLine Travel, Nobeltime AV & Telecom and all Apple Stores in the city. It comes in all three sizes and gives speeds up to 4G/LTE:
- HK$ 88: 1.5 GB, unlimited local calls and WiFi for 5 days plus HK$ 30 credit
- HK$ 118: 5 GB, unlimited local calls and WiFi for 8 days plus HK$ 48 credit
For more data you can add 1.5 GB plus free WiFI for 5 days at HK$ 48 and roaming data in China and Macau a HK$ 40 pass for max. 40 MB per day by *131#. Note, that once your initial pack has expired, there is no pay per use for local call or sending text to a local number. You must purchase the HK$ 48 add-on instead.
Although your initial pack or add-on is valid for 5 or 8 days, your account remains open for 180 days from activation or last recharge. Unlike other prepaid cards, these types of SIM card don't have a monthly administration fee.
China-HK-Macau - Travel SIM card Edit
Their new roaming SIM is sold only at 1O1O Centre of Arrivals Meeters & Greeters Hall, Level 5, Hong Kong Internatl. Airport for HK$ 218 in all three sizes. It includes an 8-days pass with unlimited HK calls, 5 GB HK data, unlimted csl. WiFi in HK and 100 MB roaming data in China and Macau.
For more data in HK you can add a 5-days pass of 1.5 GB, unlimited HK calls and WiFi for HK$ 48 or a roaming pass of 100 MB per day for mainland China and Macau at HK$ 40 by typing *131#. Like with the Discover Hong Kong Tourist SIM card, once your initial pack has expired, there is no pay per use for local call or sending text to a local number. You must purchase the HK$ 48 add-on instead.
Your account remains open for 180 days from activation or last recharge even your initial package expired. This type of SIM card doesn't have a monthly administration fee.
Check balance and account management Edit
For csl. branded prepaid SIMs (except Discover Hong Kong Tourist SIM), old one2free and old CSL branded SIM cards,
- to check your mobile number, account balance, expiry date and subscribed packs: type *109#
- for data and allowance enquiry: type *101#
All text messages are displayed in dual languages (Cantonese and English) as default.
For old PCCW-HKT prepaid SIMs and Discover Hong Kong Tourist SIM cards, use the following codes as they share different prepaid billing system with csl. even some of their products rebranded under csl.
- for account balance: type ##122#
Text messages displayed in dual languages (Cantonese and English).
For all prepaid cards, no matter new csl, old one2free or old PCCW-HKT branded prepaid SIM, csl allows you to log-on to their prepaid online services "My Account". Your account provides allowances and balance enquiry. You may select data passes and value added services, set preferences (roaming, language, promotional messages, reset passcode or change passcode) and recharge (by credit cards, recharge vouchers).
Use your WiFi log-on passcode to log-on to your account. Otherwise, press *111# to get your PIN or click here. For PCCW branded SIMs or Discover Hong Kong Tourist Prepaid SIM, your passcode is already printed on the back of your credit card sized SIM holder, next to your phone number.
Common recharge methods for tourists are recharge vouchers, payment kiosk in csl. shops and online by credit cards. Validity will be extended for 180 days from the recharge date for all cards mentioned under this heading. csl. provides additional bonus up to 33% on top of your recharge amount for selected types of prepaid cards. Check your prepaid card details on their website.
- by recharge vouchers: available for HK$ 50, 100, 200, 300, 1000 at all 1O1O, csl, HKT Stores, Circle K, Vango convenience stores and authorized dealers. Follow instructions on prepaid vouchers, call 179179 (press 1 for English, select 1 for recharge. Then, follow voice instructions) or use vouchers online by log on to your account or click here. Check whether vouchers are the new ones as only the new csl vouchers can be used on new csl, old one2free, old PCCW-HKT, old NWM (not mentioned in this article) and old CSL branded prepaid SIM. Old PCCW recharge vouchers can only be used on PCCW branded prepaid SIM and Discover Hong Kong Tourist Prepaid SIM cards.
- at a payment kiosk: available for HK$ 50, 100, 200, 300 and located in all csl. shops [Shops]. Payable by credit cards or Octopus Card, the commonly used electronic stored value card in the city.
- online: for HK$ 50-300. Pay by any credit cards or Alipay from China. Click here for recharge by credit card or log on to your account.
More info Edit
- new APN: mobile
- website: http://www.hkcsl.com/en/Prepaid/
- customer services: (+852) 179179, press 1 for English, then 3, 2, 0 to speak to a representative.
China Mobile Hong Kong Edit
China Mobile from mainland China is the biggest network provider of the world what number of customers is concerned. It operates a network in Hong Kong too. Unlike in mainland China its 3G and 4G is fully compatible with GSM-devices from all over the world and data are not censored on Hong Kong SIM cards. Their 2G SIM cards have been discontinued, but may be still available and work as usual in the market. Check the package for '4G/3G' wording for the 4G/3G Prepaid SIM.
4G/3G Data and Voice Prepaid SIM card Edit
This is their regular prepaid SIM on 3G and 4G. It's sold for HK$ 80with a credit of HK$ 78 valid for 180 days. Default data rate is 0.5 HK$ with a daily cap (at midnight) at HK$ 28 with a FUP of 1 GB per day, throttled to 128 kbps beyond. A monthly administration fee of HK$ 2 will be charged once you activate your SIM and recurred every 30 days.
You can add these data packs for more high-speed data, all packs support 4G network, but data speed depends on your subscribed package:
|3 GB||5 days||HK$ 48||4G/LTE||*103*100*07#|
|200 MB||none%||HK$ 50||4G/LTE||*103*100*01#|
|1 GB||none%||HK$ 148||4G/LTE||*103*100*02#|
|1 GB||10 days||HK$ 68||14.4 Mbit/s||*103*100*08#|
|unlimited*||10 days||HK$ 30||384 kbit/s||*103*100*09#|
*Tethering and P2P access are not allowed on their "Lite Unlimited Data Package". Use only on handsets with a screen smaller than 7".
% Same as the validity date of the SIM card
4G/3G Individual Traveler SIM Edit
If a 3 GB 5-day package is all you need, this is the cheaper way to go. This SIM is sold for HK$ 68 with the package activated, ready to use, and HK$ 18 credit available for any voice or texting needs. Your account is valid for 90 days if you buy and activate your SIM card at CMHK Shop. For more data you can add one of the packages mentioned above. The same default rate applies as well. A monthly recurring administration fee of HK$ 2 will be charged once you activate your SIM.
Roaming SIM cards from China Mobile HK Edit
China Mobile sells many different roaming SIM cards with a data allowance for HK and mainland China on its network there. They are a good way to bypass the "Great Firewall of China". But for China Mobile you need to have devices for their 3G and 4G frequencies, which are rarely used outside of China (see China section). If you are purchasing a device locally to use in China for this purpose (Android phones purchased in the mainland will not have Google services available), devices capable of using the mainland 4G/LTE network are referred to as "Dual LTE" in English. For more information check the appropriate section at China Mobile in our mainland China article where their roaming SIM cards are featured in detail.
SIM card activation and set-up Edit
No matter which SIM you have, put your SIM in your phone and make the first call (or call the free prepaid self-help hotline 193193), follow the voice instructions to set up language. You will hear your prepaid phone number, balance, expiry date and also receive a text message with all the information just mentioned.
For 4G/3G prepaid SIM or data roaming sim (not mentioned in this section), you can also put your SIM into a smartphone, connect to network and activation completed once you received a welcome text message. Cantonese will be default language in most cases.
In case you need to change language, call free self-help hotline 193193. Press 8 for language setting, then 2 for English (or 1 for Cantonese).
To change the language on China Mobile (CMHK) from Chinese to English, call : 193193 , and wait until silent. Then press : 8 > 2 > 1 and system language will change to English.
SIM card balance enquiry and management Edit
To check balance and allowance (for 3G/4G Prepaid Cards), press *#130#. You will receive a prompt and follow by a text message with the summary details shown as the set up language you have chosen. Follow steps mentioned in previous section to change language.
Alternatively, download the CMHK App "1CM" or visit their website to check your prepaid balance, subscribe or manage value-added services (such as data packs), and recharge by credit cards or vouchers. A simple registration is needed beforehand. You need to enter verification code sent to you, then provide and verify your email address, and set up your account passcode.
CMHK provides a wide range of recharge methods. Recharging HK$ 50 or more will extend your card validity for 180 days from the recharge date. Recharging less than HK$ 50 will only extend 30 days or will not extend it at all if your original expiry date is longer.
CMHK provides 5-30% bonus on top of your recharge amount. In addition, an additional 5% bonus will be provided if you recharge through Octopus Self-service Payment, Credit Card Auto-Fill, Online Refill and PPS with recharge amount HK$ 50 -199. Check your prepaid card details on CMHK website .
The following are some common recharge methods for tourists.
- by Flex-refill: from HK$ 10, available at CMHK Shops, payable by cash (HK$) or credit cards. Credit will be available to your account in 15 minutes.
- by Octopus self-service payment: from HK$ 10, available at Octopus self-service payment machine in CMHK shops, payable by Octopus Card, the commonly used electronic stored value card in the city. Credit will be available to your account in 15 minutes.
- by recharge vouchers: with face values of HK$ 30, 50, 100, 200, 300, available at CMHK Shops, Circle K, Vango Kiosks, and authorized dealers (such as newspaper stands). Each voucher must be used before its own expiry date. Follow instructions on vouchers to recharge, use CMHK app (Click Account, then Prepaid Card Refill and choose Activate Refill Voucher) or activate online. Credit will be available to your account immediately.
- by a HK$ 100 Electronic Refill Voucher: valued at HK$ 100, exclusively sold at any 7-Eleven convenience store in the city. Vouchers are printed on receipt paper, so it's advised to use it quickly as it is easy to lose or damage. Instructions are printed on the voucher.
- online: for HK$ 30-1000, use CMHK website or CMHK app. Payable by Visa, MasterCard, or UnionPay (mainland issued cards only).
More info Edit
- APN: CMHK
- website: http://www.hk.chinamobile.com/en
- customer services: (+852) 2945 8888, press 2 for English, then your prepaid number, press 6 in next menu to speak to a representative. Local call rates apply.
Three (3, by Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.) Edit
Three offers 4G/LTE, 3G, GSM dual-band mobile telecommunications and Wi-Fi services in Hong Kong. The MTR (metro, subway) is fully covered by LTE now.
They offer a huge portfolio of different SIM cards on 3G only and some on 4G too which are shown one by one. Their “face value” is at the same time purchase price and preloaded credit. An “administration fee” of HK$ 2.50 per month is imposed on all cards.
To recharge, buy vouchers and enter ##105*<16-digit PIN>#.
Three sends out SMS notifications about balance, expiration and status of packages, so be sure to set the system language to English, once you have inserted the SIM: press ##107*2#.
HK Local Prepaid SIM (2G, 3G) Edit
Their standard voice and data SIM sells for HK$ 48 or HK$ 98. Data is HK$ 2 per MB and beyond unlimited with a daily cap of HK$ 28 (until midnight) and a monthly cap of HK$ 338. A daily and monthly FUP of 5 GB applies. There is also the option to add packages with their own limits or FUPs; a 7-day package is available for HK$ 63 (FUP 2 GB), or you can add these packages valid for 30 days:
- 1 GB: HK$ 48
- 2 GB: HK$ 78
- FUP 5 GB: HK$ 188
The default language is in Chinese and it's a huge hassle to change as you have to jump through all the phone-in hurdles and unwanted and highly irritating advertising to reach someone, who can change it to English for you. There is no magic code!
Hong Kong Visitor Prepaid SIM (2G, 3G) Edit
This voice and data SIM has a face value of HK$ 128 and the same data rates as the local prepaid SIM, but no add-on packages. Instead, you can buy for HK$ 88 a “3-day-pass” package to have unlimited local calls and data for 3 days. To activate press *127*388#, to deactivate #127*388#
4G/LTE Data Package SIM Edit
Their 3G/4G voice and data SIM with monthly packages. They are sold in three sizes:
- 1 GB: HK$ 168
- 2 GB: HK$ 248
- 3 GB: HK$ 298
This Data Package is valid for 30 days from the day of package subscription. The package will be terminated after package end date (cut-off time is 23:59h). Manual re-subscription is required after package expired.
To add data, the rates are equal to the start-up prices. Text code *127*610# for 1 GB, *127*620# for 2 GB and *127*630# for 3 GB. To get free Three WiFi enter *127*8#.
4G/LTE day pass data SIM Edit
This is the same product with voice, text and data on a time-based package. They are sold in three sizes:
- 2 days: HK$ 38 – FUP: 2.5 GB
- 7 days: HK$ 88 – FUP: 3.5 GB
- 14 days: HK$ 168 – FUP: 5 GB
LTE Local Data Package is valid for 2/7/14-days from the day of package subscription. The package will be terminated after package end date (cut-off time is 23:59). Manual re-subscription is required after package expired.
To re-subscribe type *127*602# for two days, *127*607# for 7 days or *127*600# for 14 days. Same prices as above. To get free Three WiFi enter *127*8#.
When you have reached the usage level for your package, the Fair Usage Policy will be applied. While you can still continue to use the service. However, your speed may be throttled to no less than 128 kbps.
4G/LTE Data Prepaid SIM Edit
This 3G/4G SIM has voice and text too and is sold for a face value of HK$ 198. Default data is HK$ 2 per MB capped at 33 HK$ per day. For this SIM, they offer three different data packages:
|500 MB||10 days||HK$ 63||*127*609#||once-off|
|300 MB||30 days||HK$ 50||*127*650#||auto-renew|
|1.5 GB||30 days||HK$ 178||*127*617#||auto-renew|
|1 day||HK$ 98||*127*31#||auto-renew|
Packages only auto-renew if there is credit. Once you stop, the remaining data balance will be lost. The roaming pass gives you unlimited data until midnight HK time on China Unicom and Three Macau networks. The auto-renew can be stopped by entering the activation code again.
TriHalo SIM Edit
This 3G/4G prepaid SIM is a product aimed at Indonesian domestic helpers living in Hong Kong, but is also contains some of the most affordable 4G data packages in the 3HK lineup and is exempt from the administration fee levied on the others. It costs HK$ 38 for the SIM with the same amount of credit loaded and is valid for 90 days from activation.
|2 GB||30 days||HK$ 38||*127*605#|
|Unlimited (4GB FUP)||30 days||HK$ 78||*127*606#|
|Unlimited (6GB FUP)||30 days||HK$ 88||*127*709#|
|8 GB||30 days||HK$ 98||*127*611#|
|Unlimited (23:00 to 7:00)||30 days||HK$ 30||*127*612#|
In addition to the above, until 31 December 2018, the following bonuses are available when using the specially designated TriHalo top-up vouchers:
- HK$ 20 (HK$ 6 bonus)
- HK$ 50 (HK$ 15 bonus)
- HK$ 100 (HK$ 30 bonus)
For roaming, the 300MB and 1.2GB China + Macau roaming data packages (refer to the Roaming SIM section below) are available on this SIM, as well as roaming in Indonesia for HK$ 68 for 1 GB valid for 14 days (*127*662# to activate).
3G Data Prepaid SIM Edit
This SIM is like the 4G Data Prepaid SIM but only on 2G and 3G. It is sold for a face value of HK$ 198. Default data is HK$ 2 per MB with a daily cap of HK$ 18 and a monthly cap of HK$ 168 for 5 GB. You can add a weekly pack for HK$ 68 with FUP 2 GB. Activation *127*763#, as it will auto-renew, to deactivate #127*763#. Or monthly 1 GB at HK$ 48 (*127*748#) or 2 GB at HK 78 (*127*782#).
Wireless Broadband Mobile SIM (2G, 3G) Edit
This SIM is sold in different sizes: for a face value of HK$ 48, 68, 98 or 298. It has voice and text too. Default data is HK$ 2 capped at HK$ 28 per day and HK$ 348 per month with a FUP of 5 GB.
For extra data they offer the same weekly and two monthly packs as for the 3G Data Prepaid SIM. Additionally, a monthly 5 GB pack is sold at HK$ 188 (*127*719#).
Roaming Data SIM (for China and Macau) Edit
Three has further improved its roaming SIM for travelers to mainland China and Macau. It is sold for HK$ 98 and once inserted, it automatically gives you 2GB/30days (one-time) for use in China/Hong Kong/Macau. The SIM is valid for 90 days activated. Validity can be extended by Top-up. This offer is now one of only two providers currently offering a long-validity (1 year) roaming package for China. The following offers are valid on China Unicom network in China and Three network in Macau. Use the listed USSD codes to subscribe and unsubscribe after the initial (non-renew) 2GB/30days:
|HK$38||30 days||300 MB||＊127 ＊ 671 #|
|HK$78||10 days||1.2 GB||＊127 ＊ 672 #|
|HK$98||30 days||2 GB||＊127 ＊ 673 #|
|HK$488||365 days||8 GB||＊127 ＊ 674 #|
In addition to the listed prices, Three gives out bonus roaming data for online top-ups:
|Top-up Amount||Expiry extended||Bonus data||Bonus validity|
|HK$ 100-199||90 days||0.5 GB||90 days|
|HK$ 200-299||365 days||1 GB||365 days|
|HK$ 300-399||365 days||1.5 GB||365 days|
|HK$ 400-499||365 days||2 GB||365 days|
|HK$ 500+||365 days||2.5 GB||365 days|
With the top-up bonus scheme and new data packages, this is now the most cost-effective solution for mainland roaming data on the China Unicom network.
Three Wi-Fi Service Edit
Three provides Wi-Fi service at over 20,000 hotspots in Hong Kong. This service is using the auto-login function of smartphones. Once you are subscribed to the Wi-Fi Service, your phone will automatically login as soon as you near a Three Wi-Fi hotspot.
All SIM cards with the word "Data" in their name (i.e. "4G LTE Data Prepaid SIM Card"), have the Wi-Fi service included for free. This service needs to be activated. To activate dial *127*8#.
For all other SIM cards the WiFi service is $18 per month (30 days). To activate send blank SMS to 503106. To deactivate login to your account here.
Check balance and account management Edit
Dial ##107# for account and usage balance. For a full text menu of packages and services available, with subscription short code, dial *#107#.
Default language and text messages may be in Cantonese. To change language to English, call the free self-help hotline 1753175 while you are in Hong Kong with your 3 SIM. Press 5 for language setting and then 2 for English (or 1 for Cantonese).
If you want to access the self-help hotline (+852 1753175) with landlines or from overseas, set up a 6 digit passcode first while you are in Hong Kong (Note that this passcode is separated with 3Care passcode). Simply call 1753175 in Hong Kong with your 3 SIM, press 2 and follow the voice instructions.
Alternatively, you can visit 3Care online account to check balance, recharge, set up Wi-Fi password and roaming data settings. Note that if you want to subscribe data packages or check usage balance, you still need to use the short code.
You will receive an SMS with your mobile no., account balance, validity, check digit (for PPS, a local fund transfer system, or ATM transfer use only) and passcode once you activate the SIM card. Use the passcode provided to logon 3Care, or text a blank SMS to 503175 for free to get back your passcode.
More info Edit
- APN for 3G SIM cards: mobile.three.com.hk
- APN for 4G SIM cards: mobile.lte.three.com.hk
- APN for tethering: share.three.com.hk
- website: http://www.three.com.hk
- customer services: (+852) 1033
Though SmarTone is the smallest operator in the city by market share, it constantly gets good marks for its 3G and 4G service.
Their SIM cards are available in all sizes at all SmarTone stores (locator), at more than 900 authorised dealers (list), in 7-Eleven and Circle K stores and at their vending machines at Mong Kok East and Kowloon Tong stations.
Broadband & Voice Stored-Value SIM Edit
This type of SIM card used to be the only prepaid product offered. It comes in different varieties:
- at HK$ 98: Broadband & Voice Stored-Value SIM with 4G Hong Kong and Macau data
- at HK$ 48: Broadband & Voice Stored-Value SIM with 4G - low data user's pick
A monthly recurring administration fee of HK$ 2.50 will be charged once you activate your SIM for all versions.
Data plans differ between the HK$ 98 and HK$ 48 starters:
- on the HK$ 48 starter: HK$8 per hour for unlimited data usage. Upon spending HK$ 24 in a day, the rest of the day is free till midnight. A FUP applies (see below). Alternatively, they offer these two packages:
- 300 MB for a month: HK$ 38 - activation and deactivation: *111*191#
- 1 GB for a month: HK$ 168 - activation and deactivation: *111*192#
- on the HK$ 98 starter these data packs are offered:
|unlimited||1 hour||HK$ 8||*111*601#|
|unlimited||1 day||HK$ 24||*111*201#|
max. 384 kbps)
|3 days||HK$ 38||*111*204#|
|7 days||HK$ 68||*111*205#|
|2 GB||3 days||HK$ 38||*111*202#|
|3 GB||7 days||HK$ 68||*111*203#|
|1 GB||30 days||HK$ 168||*111*193#|
|2 GB||30 days||HK$ 248||*111*194#|
|3 GB||30 days||HK$ 298||*111*195#|
|2 GB||unlimited||HK$ 268||*111*206#|
|WiFi: unlimited||1 day||HK$ 5||*111*161#|
For the WiFi Day Pass you will receive a SMS including user name and password after successful subscription. You can then select the WiFi network (SSID) “Y5ZONE“ under your device settings and login through browser. You may visit the website of Y5ZONE to search for a hotspot.
A day for SmarTone packages always counts until midnight local time. Data use in Macau is debited at local Hong Kong rates from the package on the HK$ 98 plan.
There are two different FUPs (Fair Usage Policy) in effect depending on what SIM you have purchased. Once you have reached 5GB in a month on an unlimited pack, the following can happen:
HK$ 48 starter: Data service continues without speed throttling or data capping, but access to network resources will be given lower priority and data service experience may be affected.
HK$ 98 starter: Data will be throttled to no more than 384Kbps.
Tethering is not allowed according to SmarTone, but not blocked. Tethering, Facetime, VoIP and WhatsApp calls are possible.
No matter which type of SIM you have, once you insert the SIM into your phone, the card is automatically activated and you will be receiving a 6-digit "SIM card PIN". Be sure to save this PIN. This PIN is needed later for different actions like recharging online (see below) or when calling customer services.
You can recharge by buying recharge vouchers at any SmarTone Stores or authorised deals with SmarTone signage (eg. selected Newspaper Stand).
If you are in Hong Kong and on the SmarTone network, you can easily recharge online by visiting their Top-up site.
If you are abroad or want to top-up on a desktop or other devices, visit their Online Recharge Services and pay by a credit card. You need your phone number and the 6-digit "SIM card PIN" you've got once you activated your card.
Your SIM card is valid for 180 days from the activation date. Once you recharge HK$ 50 or more, your validity is reset for another 180 days.
Check balance, validity and account management Edit
To check balance, dial *111#. You will receive a SMS with the information about expiry date, store value and data charge consumed.
Travel Data Card Edit
For cheap roaming in other Asian countries, they sell a special SIM card in all three sizes called Travel Data Card. 4G is included with supportable 4G devices.
- for China (China Unicom) and Macau (SmarTone):
- 500 MB for 3 days: HK$ 74
- 1 GB for 7 days: HK$ 100
- for Japan (Softbank), Taiwan (Chungwha), Singapore (M1), Malaysia (Celcom) and Indonesia (XL Axiata), unlimited data for 7 days: HK$ 193
- for Korea (SK Telecom) and Thailand (dtac), unlimited data for 5 days: HK$ 193
The SIM card will be automatically activated once data has been used upon roaming. Data service can be used from the activation date until midnight on the last day. The card supports roaming data only (including tethering). Voice, SMS and other services are not available. The card is for once-off use only, top-ups are not applicable.
More info Edit
- APN: smartone
- APN for tethering: internet
- Website: http://www.smartone.com
- Customer Services: (+852) 2880 2688, local rates apply.
Multibyte Info Group was founded in 2000 and received a Hong Kong MVNO license. They are running 4G/LTE services in Hong Kong on Three HK and China Mobile HK mobile networks. They mainly focus on China-Hong Kong cross border products.
Their SIM cards come without registration and data won't be censored in China. They have some good prepaid data products for users who require data service and long duration in both China and Hong Kong. In mainland China they will use China Unicom's coverage in 2G,3G and 4G/LTE (check China Unicom in our China section for compatibility). Tethering may be restricted in China, but works fine in HK.
Some of their SIM cards are available online through Prepaid.com.hk . They will ship this card worldwide or with an option to pick up at HK Airport's Post Office, or you can purchase them at various stands along Ap Liu Street (see "Registration and Availability").
Data packages Edit
These data packages can be used both in HK and mainland China:
|3 days||500 MB||HK$ 50|
|10 days||1.5 GB||HK$ 108|
|2 GB||HK$ 128|
|15 days||3 GB||HK$ 238|
|120 days||1.2 GB||HK$ 148|
|180 days||3 GB||HK$ 298|
|365 days||2 GB||HK$ 250|
|5 GB||HK$ 500|
SIM cards can be topped up for more volume on their website, but not extended in time.
Note: The packages mentioned above are spread out across a few different SIMs. For example, the 365-day packages are separate SIMs, the 3-day 500MB offer is a separate SIM, etc. Make sure the offer you want is available on the SIM you purchase.
More info Edit
- APN: mb
- Customer Services: (+852) 2156 6888, local rates apply
- Website of Multi-byte Info : http://www.multi-byte.com/
China Unicom Edit
The second largest mobile provider in mainland China acts as a MVNO in Hong Kong. It operates on the network of Three and some newer voice SIMs use the csl. network instead. China Unicom doesn’t offer good prices for the city, but hassle-free roaming cards for their network in mainland China. They come without registration and data won't be censored. Their offers are shown in detail in the mainland China section.
For visitors going to both HK and Macau, they also have the Voyage King prepaid SIM. It's sold for HK$ 88 (online: HK$ 55) and comes with unlimited voice calls in HK, unlimited data in HK and Macau (throttled to 128 kbps after exceeding 1 GB), and HK$ 30 of voice credit for international calls, SMS, as well as any voice calls in Macau for 7 days. It can't be reloaded after initial activation; once 7 days are over, you must buy another.
- APN: 3gnet
- Website of China Unicom HK: http://www.cuniq.com/hk_en/
Lycamobile (suspended) Edit
Lycamobile from Britain soft-launched in April 2015 as one of the MVNOs in the city. It used the network of Three in 2G, 3G, but no 4G/LTE support and gives free calls amongst Lycamobile users.
In April 2018 we received the following notice from the local regulator OFCA:
Lycamobile Hong Kong Limited (“Lycamobile”) (now renamed as “Zaritelcom”) is a mobile virtual network operator (“MVNO”) offering predominantly prepaid mobile services in Hong Kong.
Recently, the Office of the Communications Authority (“OFCA”) received complaints from subscribers of Lycamobile that they could not access the services. As confirmed with Lycamobile, its services were suspended from 6 April 2018 and it could not ascertain when the services can be resumed.
In the light of the above, members of the public are advised not to buy any SIM cards offered by Lycamobile. For existing customers of Lycamobile, they are advised not to recharge their prepaid SIM cards and to approach Lycamobile or its distributors/resellers for any arrangements arising from the service suspension.
Affected customers who wish to continue to use mobile services with the existing numbers may approach other mobile service providers for number porting. OFCA is coordinating with these providers to facilitate the number porting requests and will take any necessary action in view of the development of the situation.
In summer 2018 it added: ‘In view of Lycamobile’s failure to demonstrate capability to resume the provision of service in a satisfactory manner, the Communications Authority has decided not to renew Lycamobile’s licence upon its expiry on 31 July 2018. With effect from 1 August 2018, Lycamobile will no longer be authorised to provide any public telecommunications service in Hong Kong. To avoid any financial loss, OFCA reminds members of the public not to purchase any SIMcards of Lycamobile remaining in circulation in the market.’