Hong Kong Prepaid SIM Cards

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51 Responses

  1. Frank Doyle says:

    Thanks.

    Do you know if this is for 3G or 4G networks?

    • HKTravelBlog says:

      Hi Frank, the prepaid cards are for 3G service. I don’t think there’s any that offer 4G yet. I don’t think there’s much difference in speed anyway, 4G networks in HK are just starting out and not as mature as in North America. Not sure how Europe’s 4G is.

  2. is_ac says:

    assuming I travel to HK and get this SIM, Then i will be travelling to other countries such as Taiwan or Korea. WIll i still be able to use this SIM by just paying extra $?

  3. Janet kallos says:

    Hi..thank you for this..il be using pocket wifi. How can i convert the 100 load to 7days unli data..tia

  4. Janet kallos says:

    Big help thanks again

  5. Nicholas Fong says:

    one2free SIM cards

    First, activate your one2free SIM, call hotline 179179 and go through the menu system, English is near the end, be patient; or use short cut: press *109# Send

    Second, subscribe to one of the following passes:
    dial #109# SEND and go through the “Easy Menu” system;
    or use short cuts:
    Hourly Pass, $8, to apply press *101*832*2#
    Daily Pass, $28, to apply press *101*832*3#
    7-Day Pass, $78, to apply press *101*832*4#

    If you SIM has sufficient fund and you need longer duration pass:
    30-day-pass, $38, 300 MB, to apply press *101*833*2#
    30-day-pass, $88, 1 GB to apply press *101*833*3#

    By the way, if you have a smart phone, during the time between the initial activation and the data pass purchase, the smart phone may connect to the data network to download emails, etc, hence you will be paying a tremendously expensive “Pay as you go” data rate during that period.

    Work around is to do the activation and data pass purchase in a WiFi connected location, hence your smart phone will not use any network data during that critical period.

    Another work around is to use a dumb phone (unlocked GSM phone capable of operating in 900 and 1800 MHz frequencies) to do the activation and purchase data pass. You may need a micro SIM to regular adapter if you choose this method.

    I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the above. Rates and plans change as the market evolves. The best and most current guide is inside the package itself with your SIM card.

    The above should give you some idea of what you will be facing once you are “on the ground”.

  6. Lake says:

    HI! Does it comes with nano sim card? Is it compatible with iPhone 5? (:

  7. Nelson says:

    How I check for my one2free balance? I cant seems to find any information at all on their website for this simple instruction.

  8. Ken says:

    I will bringing a smart phone and I am from Canada, can I buy a prepaid SIM card when I arrive in Hong Kong? Any restriction on the phone?

    • You can buy SIM from HKG airport at the Departure Level (if you don’t arrive too late or too early in the day). For voice use only, your phone must be GSM (not CDMA), unlocked, have 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequency bands (Canada uses 850 MHz and 1900 MHz for voice). If you want data, your phone needs to handle 2100 MHz 3G data (LTE bands are far too complex to match cross continents). If you have a WIND or Mobilicty smart phone, forget about data, they are not compatible outside North America even if they are unlocked. To check your phone spec and capability outside of Canada, go to http://www.gsmarena.com

      You can buy a PCCW Discover Hong Kong tourist SIM at the Tourism office Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Terminal. They come in 5-day or 8-day all you can eat passes (there is a data cap).

      If the airport retailers are closed, go in town, find any one2free shops, they are easy to find.
      For extreme optimization of which One2free SIM to choose, see my web link below.

      http://pigtail.net/nicholas/roaming/sim-cards.html

      Nicholas Fong
      Vancouver Canada

    • HKTravelBlog says:

      You can also buy a SIM card on the arrivals level at 7-11, which is open 24 hours. Keep in mind they run out of SIM cards from time to time so you may not be able to purchase your first selection. If that’s the case then as Nicolas mentioned, you’ll have to stop by a mobile hone store, 7-11, or Circle K in the city.

  9. Ken says:

    Thanks Nicholas,

    I am using Rogers Iphone 5, and Rogers will unlock for me with charge.
    Do you think I can buy the one2three nano sim card from Hong Kong and do you think I can be able to use their Unlimited Data and local calling?

    Thanks again!

    • HKTravelBlog says:

      If the phone is unlocked you will be able to use the phone in HK. You can also unlock it in HK through most little mobile stores for around $150 HKD I’m guessing. Approx $20-25 CAD.
      The nano SIM is available, but not always carried at 7-11. If you can’t find it there, best to go to the one2free store and they can give you the nano SIM or cut a regular sized one for you.

      • Hi Ken:

        Rogers charges $50 CAD to unlock their phones.

        You can try online http://www.cellunlocker.net/ to buy an unlock code and DIY. Be careful, for most phones, if you fail 3 times, your phone will be permanently locked. cellunlocker.net is not a scam site, I used it a couple of times and they do give valid unlock codes (for Samsung S3, but my Nokia 2720 can’t be unlocked, not their fault, the 2720 was hard locked).

        As the forum moderator suggested, visit one of the one2free stores and buy a nano card from them. Cutting a nano card from standard/micro is possible, but tricky because it may expose some of the metals and makes contact to cause problems or even damage the SIM. Ask the store to do it for you. If the metal is exposed on the cutting side, use nail polish to paint the exposed surface to create an insulation layer.

        You can find one2free shops from this URL:

        http://one2free.hkcsl.com/jsp/abouto2f/contact_us.jsp

        Unfortunately the web site does not give you the GPS co-ordinates, so it may be a bit of work finding them. If you like, I have some of them geo coded (in GPX and KML) so it can be viewed using Google Earth. Contact me via email if you want the one2free shops geo locations file. Many of them are concentrated in the Mong Kok shopping district in Kowloon.

        If you buy a one2free card, you are no longer roaming, you become a “local” (just like you are a local in Canada with Rogers SIM). The data is not unlimited, they will throttle down severely after certain GB data is reached, same as voice, there is a small charge per voice minute and it will eventually deplete the SIM stored value to zero. You can always recharge from any 7-11, Circle-K, etc. I think the minimum top up amount is HK$50. Once you get your SIM, depends on your stay, you can buy a 1 week (HK$78) or 1 month data pass (HK$88 1GB or HK$38 300 MB) and the remaining dollars on the SIM will be used for voice calls. To call Canada, use Skype, even with data usage and Skype credits, it is cheaper than calling long distance directly over the voice infrastructure.

        Nicholas Fong
        nicholas.fong@gmail.com
        Vancouver, Canada

  10. Jenny says:

    Is there any difference between the one2free Mobile Broadband Prepaid Service for $100HKD, the One2Free Power Prepaid SIM, and the HK$78 or HK$48 Local Call?

    • They are all different in terms of local call rates, SMS/MMS rates. The information used to be on the one2free website under Prepaid SIM, but the information is mysteriously gone. Given that, the only option is go to a one2free shop and record the fine prints for all those different packages and create a big Excel spreadsheet to optimize which one is most suitable for your usage. If you don’t live in Hong Kong, the best packages for non-residence (aka tourists to HK) seem to be the $48 local calls or the $78 local calls which gives you adequate voice minutes (rate varies depends on peak and non-peak hours) and you can even buy a data-pass with it ($38, 30 day, 300 MB data).

  11. Kenny says:

    Hey there,
    Just a quick question on the mobile cap. I am currently in HK and use the prepaid sim. As there is no wifi anywhere near where I’m staying I’ve been heavily using the personal hotspot in order to use the net and as you can guess I’ve pretty much busted the 5gb relatively quickly (and I’ll be here another 10 or so days). Is there any way to be uncapped again? Perhaps a recharge? Or would I be better off just swapping to a new prepaid card as my $100 is nearly used up anyway?

    • HKTravelBlog says:

      I’m sure you can recharge it, just find a one 2 free store and they should be able to help you. You’ll get a bonus on a recharge too. Then opt for the 7 day or daily data pass so you don’t have a limit on your usage.

  12. Frank says:

    Just wondering if I bought this card (the prepaid data plan) last summer in May2013 and the last time I used it was August 2013, am I still able to reactivate my sim card simply by top up the card? or I have to buy a new sim card?

    • HKTravelBlog says:

      Frank, you can’t reactivate an expired card to my knowledge, you’d have to get a new one as the number would’ve been recycled by now. If the card hasn’t expired, you can usually extend the validity another 6 mos when you recharge.

  13. ChaiWarrior says:

    So if Ive activated the 38$ monthly plan, why when I press my mobile widget does it not connect ?? Any ideas ?

  14. Kitty says:

    Hi, so let me see if I understand this right. If i want data and voice during my upcoming 3 weeks in HK – best is to get the package $148 for 30 days (which comes with 3G). How much is there for voice? $48? Last yr when I was in HK, the sales at one2free explained SO FAST that i didn’t understand at all… luckily i didn’t have to use much voice (and i think last yr it was only 1G) but I might need to use more voice this year so i’m trying to understand this! haha~

    Also, from viewing the one2free site, as long as my iphone 5s is unlocked in Canada, I should be able to use the nano-sim card that is offered with this package right?

    • HKTravelBlog says:

      Voice is almost always included in the prepaid phone cards in HK. They’ll usually charge a per minute charge for the voice usage, depends on which card you get and whether it’s off-peak or peak to figure what the costs are.

      An unlocked iPhone will work, or you can always unlock it in HK for probably around $200 HKD I assume.

  15. Poodle says:

    My friend passed me prepaid card which she used last week. I’m going to HK this weekend, can I reload the sim card and re-choose the $78/7days option?

    • Yes you can recharge (HK$50 minimum) your prepaid card either online or at any convenience store in HK. The drop dead date is 180 days after activation without any recharge.
      To check balance on your card, dial *101# or *109#.

      If you have sufficient fund, you can buy a 7-day data pass by dialing *101*832*4#

      I used one2free prepaid SIM 2 weeks ago in HK and it was great. Speedtest.net shows 7.5Mbps exactly as advertised. The air interface showed (DC)HSPA+ 42Mbps, but the download volume is obviously throttled. It is still 5X faster than typical North American DSL line.

  16. Mansi says:

    Can you please help me to select between the two – PCCW and one2free. I am too confused. Am traveling for India to HK for 4 days. Initially, I was preferring PCCW as I essentially want international calling and it offers 55 free minutes of it but only to FIXED LINE in India. I want to call mobile numbers back in India!

    And on the other hand, one2free doesn’t provide international calling at all.

    Please help!! I would be grateful :) TIA

    • Not sure my previous reply was posted or lost.

      2 strategies to call India mobile (neither is free).

      (1) one2free and Skype. Not free, but cheaper than traditional legacy voice calls.

      (2) PCCW with unlimited local calls to a local access number in Hong Kong, e.g. 58080266, which is the local access number of http://www.indiald.com ,where you can connect to India for 25 cents per call on the pay per call plan.

  17. Janessa says:

    I bought a ‘$78 Local Call card’ today and was told by the K Circle staff to send a text message or call a number to activate the sim card. However, there’s no data at a despite it stating ‘unlimited local data usage ftom $8/hour’.

    Then, I realised there were steps to subscribe the ‘7 Day pass’ for the mobile broadband service and needed $78 to subscribe.

    However, when I dialled *109#, I found out my card balance was $72.60, which means it cost me HKD$5.40 just to send a text to a Sporean number. But the main problem is I have already sent he first text and am short of $5.40 to subscribe to the unlimited data plan forn7 days.

    So, now is there any way that I can get the unlimited data for the next 7 days? Do I need to go somewhere to top up the card? Where do you suggest?

    Hope you can help :) Thanks.

    • Morten says:

      Hi Janessa,
      You need to top up as you say in order to get the 7 Day pass.
      Online you can should be able to do it at http://one2free.hkcsl.com/jsp/prepaid_sim/recharge_method/recharge_method.jsp
      Minimum is 50HKD.
      Otherwise you can buy top up vouchers in a store. In my experience 100HKD is the minimum in convenience stores like CircleK and 7-Eleven.
      In the phone company stores, eg 1O1O Centre or csl Shop you might be able to buy the 50HKD vouchers.

    • You have two options: add HK$50 from any convenience store. Then you can purchase $78 7-day pass. The other option is to purchase a 30-day 300 MB data pass by dialing *101*833*2# and be careful (stingy) about the amount of data you use.

      • Janessa says:

        Thank you Nicholas for your quick reply.

        I think the better option now is to top up the minimum $50 since 300mb is not worth the $38.

        So if I too up $50, and buy the $78/7days unlimited plan, I would beliefs with $72.60 for calling and texting. Do you know how much is the rate per min or sec if I call back a Singaporean number?

        • Nicholas Fong says:

          Janessa:

          Different one2free SIM card has different IDD rates. My guess is you are probably looking at HK$6.8/min or HK$4.6/min off peak hours: 9:00pm to 8:00am from Monday to Friday; the whole day on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Your SIM card may have different rates. Rates are rounded up to the nearest minute. Even the definition of “off peak” hours can vary with the type of SIM card you use.

          Another way is to use Skype to call Singapore, Skype rate varies with the country you register in. I registered Skype in Canada, for me to call Singapore is HK$0.18 per minute using Skype Pay as you Go Skype Credit. You also consume some data while Skype calling, at roughly 1.5 MB/min.

          Note that one2free 7-day unlimited data is not truly unlimited, you get may be 2 or 3 GB at the max speed (7.2 Mbps) and then you are throttled down to a much slow speed.

        • Nicholas Fong says:

          Perhaps this is newer information: one2free Peak Hours: 12:00PM to 8:59PM

  18. Rebekka says:

    Hey I have a question,

    when I arrived at the airport in Hong Kong I got a prepaid card from the various shops in the airport. I’m here since two weeks and I will stay another four weeks. I think I made mistake by just buying a simcard, now I got power 3g, it provides a good access to the internet, but is very expensive and also the costs for sms and calls are high. What do you think I should do now. Get a new simcard or just pay the high costs, because I will stay just another four weeks.
    It would be super kind if you could help me.

    Regards
    Rebekka

    • I would buy another SIM, one2free $48 Local Call and immediately top it up with a $50. Then buy a 30-day 1GB data pass for $88, [dial *101*833*3#]. Install and use Skype to make voice calls. In Hong Kong, everyone uses WhatsApp instead of SMS.

  19. toothpick says:

    Hi,

    I will be going to HK for only two days for a stopover and I am a heavy data user.

    Which sim card would you recommend?

    Thanks

    • Try a PCCW-HKT Tourist SIM $96 (5GB data) or $118 version (5GB data).

      Make sure your device is unlocked and has 2100 MHz on 3G/UMTS/HSPA+

      If your device is 4G/LTE capable, make sure it has 2600 MHz (band 7) and/or 1800 MHz (band 3).

      After you exceed 5GB, I think PCCW throttles down or do a hard stop, not sure.

      *****

      PCCW-CSL-one2free SIM card is for lower data usage, e.g. 1GB, and then throttle down to roughly 128 Kbps after that, still unlimited data, but painfully slow once the quota is reached. Email and WhatsApp are still fine because they are not too fuzzy about data speed.

      http://pigtail.azurewebsites.net/roaming/sim-cards.html

  20. Jochen says:

    I bought the one2free card, as usual and chose the 7 day option for a short stay. Turns out they have enabled 4g now!

  1. March 11, 2014

    […] PCCW is the largest telecom company in Hong Kong, in fact they just bought Telstra’s CSL, subject to government approval. PCCW prepaid SIM cards are available virtually everywhere. 7-11 (including at the airport,) PCCW shops, Circle K, Suning, Aeon, UNY, and VnGO. For a review of one2free SIM card, visit this page. […]

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