Wednesday 5 November 2014

Travelling & Living: $48 Prepaid Local SIM Cards in Hong Kong

3G Travellers SIM and PCCW SIM
Image from Locky's English Playground

I have never really used prepaid SIM cards before, but once I have tried, I realise they are extremely convenient and tourist-friendly. Too bad I knew this too late, otherwise I would have recommended this to my Singapore friends who came to visit me.

For one thing, they are extremely easy to get hold of, walk into any convenient stores such as 7-11 or Circle K and you can find SIM cards offered by at least 5 companies.

So far, I have tried SIMs from 4 telecoms: PCCW, 3, China Mobile and Easycall, all cost HK $48 or lower. 

Among them, I recommend PCCW to be the best of all. It sends fast SMS, connects quickly to 3G, offers day pass at reasonably high data package, and the best of all, free Wi-Fi at every PCCW hotspot, which is literally everywhere, such as Starbucks, phone booths, shopping malls, parks, etc. Plus, you get extra $10 recharge voucher for free.

3 doesn't offer free Wi-Fi, but you do get 3G on a capped $28/day, the fast SMS and the calls you need to make. And if you ever need a top-up, you get up to $100 rebate. The funny thing is, it has many way too many SIMs to offer, sort of catered to different customers' needs, such as HK Local and Special Asia. The cost for SMS, data and calls also differ a little, so I suggest spending a little time to study them carefully before purchasing. But if you need data more than calls, you may want to look into their Travellers SIM or Data SIM instead of Local SIM

3G Local 3 SIM and PCCW SIM
Image from Locky's English Playground

Easycall is actually CSL, which is in turn PCCW after the acquisition, but with a much lower priority when it comes to SMS and calls. So, seriously recommend not getting it.

China Mobile seems like a decent choice if you visit China or maybe even Macau, but in Hong Kong, it is slow in every aspect, especially the 2G data it offers.

There are more expensive SIM from these companies too, you may want to give them a try and then let me know what you think.

Hong Kong Prepaid SIM Cards @ HKTravelBlog

Prepaid data – for visitors to HK (further thoughts) @ Thebrowngeek

A Test of Hong Kong Telecommunications Network Speed Credit Suisse: SmarTone is the best, China Mobile & CSL Tie @Ming Pao Daily

Local SIM @ 3HK

Travellers SIM @ 3HK

Data Package SIM @ 3HK