Internet speed in Hong Kong ranks among the best in the world, and it’s easy to get connected, below are most common and valuable options for travelers.
For budgeted visitors or those don’t need Internet often, you can make use of free WiFi hotspots, for short term visitors you can buy a prepaid SIM card for your device. If you are business traveller or frequent visitor scroll to lower part of this page or click here.
Service Providers and Quality
There are 4 major mobile service providers in Hong Kong and based on testing by locals for your reference
|Service Provider||4G Download||4G Upload||3G Download||3G Upload||Coverage||Remarks|
|3||15.5 Mbps||4.2 Mbps||4.11 Mbps||0.45 Mbps||Good||-|
|CMHK||9.7 Mbps||3.0 Mbps||1.3 Mbps||0.42 Mbps||Average||-|
|PCCW-HKT||14.3 Mbps||3.5 Mbps||3.5 Mbps||0.71 Mbps||Excellent||Brands include CSL，one2free，1010|
|SmarTone||11.7 Mbps||4.5 Mbps||2.96 Mbps||0.4 Mbps||Good||-|
Above download and upload speed is the average speed tested by locals and varies at different location. 3 has better download speed and HKT has a better average.
Free WiFi hotspot are available at the Airport, MTR stations (you have to look for MTR Free WiFi Hotspot sign), most tourist attractions, in most shopping malls, McDonald, Starbucks, some public transport, and Government buildings. Most WiFi, however, have a limited time per session and some has maximum access per day, but it is usually good enough for visitors. Common SSID are “-Free HKBN Wi-Fi-” and “CSL”
Prepaid SIM for Majority (Best value)
If you need to connect to the Internet very often, for a longer period (e.g. 1 hour+) or need to make calls, prepaid SIM card is the option for you. While there are many prepaid cards available, the Discover Hong Kong Tourist SIM cards by CSL is the best option for visitors. Brief info as below,
|Face Value||HK$88/5 days||HK$118/8 days|
|SIM Type||Micro / Mini SIM / Nano SIM||Micro / Mini SIM / Nano SIM|
|Local Voice Calls||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|IDD 0060||$0.45min to selected 36 countries||$0.45min to selected 36 countries|
|Local SMS||Intra-network HK$0.1/SMS；Inter-network $0.7/SMS||Intra-network HK$0.1/SMS；Inter-network HK$0.7/SMS|
|International SMS||To China HK$0.5/SMS；To other countries HK$1.8/SMS||To China HK$0.5/SMS；To other countries HK$1.8/SMS|
Data bundled should be more than enough, and you can top up anytime if you really needed
However, what makes this SIM most valuable is their WiFi hotspot network. Buying this SIM card allows you to connect to over 15,000 CSL WiFi hotspot all over Hong Kong! You can find their hotspot literally everywhere. And surprisingly (CSL is not cheap to Locals) this is also the cheapest short term 4G SIM card available. If you are traveling to China, Macau and Taiwan you can also use this card but there are other options. You can find the cost details and terms & conditions here.
Prepaid SIM for Business/Frequent Traveler (Best Price)
If you travel to Hong Kong very often, you’ll need a SIM card with longer duration. There are a lot of choice out there but we recommend China Mobile 4G/3G Data & Voice Prepaid SIM Card.
|SIM Type||Normal / Micro / Nano SIM|
|Local Data||4G/3G-HK$0.5/MB(daily capped at HK$28)； 1GB Local Data-HK$68/10 days；3G Lite-HK$30/10 days|
|Local Voice Calls||HK$0.1/min|
|IDD 0060||HK$0.18min up+local air time|
|Local SMS||Intra-network HK$0.1/SMS；Inter-network HK$0.7/SMS|
|International SMS||To China HK$0.5/SMS；To other countries HK$1.8/SMS|
The listed price of this SIM card is HK$80, however it is HK$65 if you buy online, about HK$50 if you buy at Hidden Shops below. The SIM card comes with HK$78 value with no data or voice call included. Yet, you can spend HK$68 to get 1GB Local Data Package for 10 days (up to 14.4Mbps speed), spend HK$30 of it’s value to get 10 Days 3G Lite unlimited data package, once active you’ll even get first 10 days free (i.e. HK$30 for 20 days). It claims to have a speed limitation at 384kbps but based on actual user testing it can goes up to 800kbps, with an average of 600-700kbps. It also claimed tethering is not allowed but actual user testing shows different results.
Let’s say you are going to use it for 30 days, you have to pay HK$60 (HK$30/10 days twice + first 10 days free), remaining value HK$18, equivalent to 180 minutes local call time, not bad.
The down side is the Internet quality provided by China Mobile is not as good as CSL, with less selling location (you can buy online and send to the hotel you are staying). Most importantly, China Mobile uses TD-LTE frequency band to provide 4G service, meaning you can’t connect to their 4G network if your phone doesn’t support, thought you’ll still be able to connect to their 3G network. Still this SIM is a very cost-effective option. If you doesn’t care about cost………you can buy anything…
You can find more info here.
Frequent Traveler or not, if you want to get the cheap SIM cards in Hong Kong, you can get to Kweilin Street, a very LOCAL street selling electronics. You can buy a SIM card at around 60% of the original price, providing a cheaper option than the Tourist SIM card mentioned above. These shops are totally trustable but don’t ask me why the can sell it so much cheaper…
To buy these SIM card you have to learn how to spot them, photos below shows the storefront of those shop. You’ll see a lot of SIM card packs or a lot of notes with price, and yes…they are in Chinese and the store owner may speak poor English. This probably would be your biggest hurdle. What you can do is to seek help from other locals, people usually willing to help if they can communicate with you.
Kweilin Street located at Sham Shui Po, next to Sham Shui Po MTR station C2 Exit, shops selling prepaid SIM cards can be found on both side of the street.
(Note: prepaid SIM card package changes often in Hong Kong, we will try our best to keep up but variance is possible when you arrive in Hong Kong. This page (and entire website) will be updated from time to time in order to provide latest travel information hence we recommended you to check again before you visit Hong Kong.)