As in Hong Kong, in the Chinese "special administration area“ of Macau mobile networks are independent and other rules apply than in mainland China. Other providers are operating and censorship is not enforced.
There are 4 mobile networks in Macau:
- CTM (MobiWeb)
- Three Macau (3, by Hutchison Whampoa)
- China Telecom Macau (CDMA-only)
China Telecom Macau run an GSM-incompatible CDMA-network like in the rest of China (for more information of which devices may work on their network, please check China Telecom in China section). While they have an LTE network in Macau now, their SIMs do actually enforce Chinese censorship and they no longer offer unlimited data, so they will no longer be mentioned here.
The first three players are GSM-networks on 900 and 1800 MHz for 2G and 2100 MHz for 3G up to HSPA+. 4G/LTE has started at the end of 2015 on all 4 networks covering > 90% of population. Licenses in 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz FDD-LTE and 2300 MHz TDD-LTE have been awarded. Coverage is good and similar on all three GSM providers.
SIM cards are available without registration. They even have vending machines at the airport, the two major piers for ferries from Hong Kong, as well as the Border Gate Checkpoint. But going to the shops and outlets of the operators is recommended. Smaller SIM sizes are sold there too or can be cut to size. Tethering and VoIP calls are allowed and the internet is not censored.
At the end the public free WiFi network is shown as an alternative at some locations.
CTM (MobiWeb) Edit
CTM for Companhia de Telecomunicações de Macau is the state monopolist in the landline department. For mobile communications it competes mainly with Three and SmarTone. It sells most of its mobile products under the brand name MobiWeb. 4G/LTE has started in October 2015 on FDD- and TDD-LTE and already covers 98% of population.
Their prepaid cards are called “BEST” and are sold all over the city: Sales Outlets
They have a face value (= price and credit) of $ 48 and contain 480 MB mobile internet, 100 hours of WiFi and 480 mins of local airtime valid for 30 days.
Reloads can be made with vouchers of $ 50, 100, 200 and 500 found everywhere.
Data feature packs Edit
Default data outside packs is $ 0.02 per KB. These four monthly 3G packs are sold:
- 1: 300 MB mobile internet and 12 hours WiFi for $ 29
- 2: 1 GB mobile internet and 28 hours WiFi for $ 99
- 3: 2 GB mobile internet and 60 hours WiFi for $ 169
- 4: unlimited mobile internet and unlimited WiFi for $ 500
Overuse is charged at $ 0.625/MB for mobile internet and $ 0.10/min for WiFi. This service is not available for the non-activated prepaid card, please activate the prepaid card via 1772 or *122# before using this service. Dial 1772 or press *122* Reload Voucher No. # <Confirm Button> for reloading prepaid card.
To subscribe a pack type #160*?# and <dial> where ? is 1, 2, 3 or 4 according to plan no. Upon successful register via 1773, the service charge is deducted instantly. The usage expiry date is 30 days; thereafter charges will be deducted automatically in the residual balance every 30 days.
The WiFi User ID is the mobile number of the prepaid card. Upon successful registration of a WiFi plan, the system will automatically send out the WiFi password by SMS to you.
For their new 4G/LTE these monthly data packs are sold:
- 200 MB: $ 28, activation: *166*1#
- 500 MB: $ 58, activation: *166*2#
- 1 GB: $ 98, activation: *166*3#
- 480 MB, 100 hrs WiFi, 480 dom. mins: $ 48, activation: *164*1#
30 hours of CTM WiFi can be added for $ 28 by *172*1# and unlimited WiFi for $ 100 by *172*2#
Data-only SIM Edit
This data-only SIM called "online everywhere in Macau" includes mobile internet 3G or 4G and unlimited WiFi.
- 2 days: $ 78, FUP: 1 GB, then throttled to 256 kbps; activation on 3G: *162*1#, activation on 4G: *163*1#
- 7 days: $ 188, FUP: 2 GB, then throttled to 256 kbps, activation on 3G: *162*7#, activation on 4G: *163*7.
The Online Everywhere in Macau Plan will expire after 2 or 7 days, and will not extend automatically. For service extension, re-apply for the plan again, the charge is deducted instantly and it is limited to apply only once during the same period.
More info Edit
- APN: ctm-mobile
- Website: http://www.ctm.net/cportal/base/public/mobiweb/PrepaidLeftNav.iface
Three (3, by Hutchison Whampoa) Edit
As usual Three by Hutchison Whampoa has the biggest diversity in prepaid SIM cards. Cards from Three in Hong Kong are working at foreign roaming rates. 4G/LTE is on 1800 MHz and now opened on one plan so far. It covers 95% of the population in 2016.
Their prepaid SIM cards and recharge vouchers are available all over Macau including 3Shop 3shops and the following authorized dealers: Sai Hang, Vending Machine at border gate, Vending Machine at Macau Ferry Terminal, 7-11 Convenience Store, Circle K Convenience Store.
Vouchers are sold for $ 50, 100, 200 and 500.
Start up and options Edit
- 4G Data Card: start-up price $ 200 with unlimited 4G data for three days. Only package available is another unlimited 3-days pack at $188. Activation by **190#.
- Easy Travel 3G Prepaid Card: start-up price: $ 100. It comes with 8 GB data, 800 local minutes voice and 800 local texts valid for 3 days each. Default data rate is 0.01 $ per KB. Only option is another 8 GB pack for $ 88.
- 3G Prepaid Card Data 200: start-up price: $ 200. It comes with 7 days unlimited data. Only option is another 7 days of data for $ 168.
- 3G Low-speed Data Card: start-up price: $ 100. It comes with 30 days unlimited data throttled to 384 Kbps download and 128 Kbps upload speed. For this SIM there are three options available:
- 3 GB for 30 days: $ 68, activation: **160*1#, deactivation: ##160*1#
- 8 GB for 30 days: $ 168, activation: **160*2#, deactivation: ##160*2#
- 12 GB for 30 days: $ 238, activation: **160*3#, deactivation: ##160*3#
Default rate is 0.01 $ per KB capped at $ 500 per month on the 3G plans.
More info Edit
- APN: mobile.three.com.mo
- Website: http://www.three.com.mo/eng
SmarTone has only one prepaid SIM card on offer. It’s sold at their shops and outlets: Service Centres
Its package includes a $ 50 prepaid SIM card. Local data day plan is at $ 100 per day. Local data day plan subscription method: Press *123*6*1117#. Local data usage of $ 0.0009/KB will be charged (capped at $ 500/month) for customers that have not applied data plan.
- APN: smartone /or/ smartgprs
- Website: http://www.smartone.com/mo/en/mobile-services/price-plans/prepaid-sim-card/pricing.jsp
WiFi Go Edit
In 2010 the Government of the Macao started a free public WiFi network called WiFi Go. Up to 2016 Macau's Telecommunications Regulatory Services Bureau has installed 201 Wi-Fi service points in government spaces, major tourist attractions and tourist routes in Macau, as well as in places where people congregate (locator).
To log in choose "Wifi go" or "Wifi go-s" in your list of WiFis, click on connect and if asked for a password or username take 'wifigo' (in one word). Some hotspots operate all day, others only from 8am to 1am. Some of the hotspots are WPA2 encrytped, others are open. Take care when sending sensitive data. Some websites are filtered out. There is a speed limit of 3 Mbps and a time limit of 45 minutes for every session.
- Website in English: http://www.wifi.gov.mo/en/