Hong Kong Sim Cards, Data packs and Free Wi-Fi for travelers

Here’s how to get connected in Hong Kong with new pre-paid sim cards for 2020 (all are 4G network) and info on the free Wi-Fi services.

Mobile Sim Cards

If you have a smartphone and you are going to be in Hong Kong for more than a few days then it’s probably worthwhile grabbing a 4G sim card to gain more widely available internet access.

The beauty of the sim cards listed below is that they are hassle-free, pop the sim in and you are good to go. You can buy these at 7-11 and most convenience stores (apart from Smartone) or from the company stores.

1. China Mobile Hong Kong

HK$68 – 4G/3G Individual Traveler Prepaid SIM Card

  • Include first 5 days+Unlimited 4G/3G Hong Kong Local Data Service
  • Include IDD and roaming service

You can get the specifics on the rates here. In a nutshell, it gives you 3GB of data for 5 days and after you use that the connection is throttled to 384Kbps which you can use freely, but you can buy data top-up packs with another 3GB for HK$48 to go back to full speed.

You can add Mainland China and Macau to this card if you end up going there as well.

You can buy it at any 7-11 or China Mobile Store, or online https://www.hk.chinamobile.com

2. CSL Discover Hong Kong Tourist Prepaid SIM

HK$88 – 5-day Pass 

  • Hong Kong & Macau data: 3GB
  • Hong Kong voice call: Unlimited
  • Free CSL Wi-Fi service in Hong Kong

HK$118 – 8-day Pass 

  • Hong Kong & Macau data: 8GB
  • Hong Kong voice call: Unlimited
  • Free CSL Wi-Fi service in Hong Kong

You can add Mainland China & Taiwan Roaming Data Pass to either of the above cards if required.

HK$218 CSL China-HK-Macau Travel SIM Card

  • Roaming Data in China and Macau: 1GB
  • Local Data Usage: 5GB
  • Local Voice Calls: Unlimited
  • CSL Wi-Fi: Unlimited

You can buy CSL/1010 cards at any 7-11, CSL store, 1010 store. For more data on any of these sims from CSL visit https://www.hkcsl.com.

3. Smartone

HK$68 Broadband & Voice Stored-Value SIM 

These are a bit more confusing. You buy a sim with stored value then you can choose what package of data you wish to add. In this case you can subscribe to the 7-Day Data Pack. There is also a $48 card which only seems useful if you use very little data

  • 3GB usable in HK
  • 2000 Local Voice Minutes

You can also add Mainland China and Macau data packs to this card.

HK$98 Greater Bay Area Data Packs for China-Hong Kong-Macau

If you are traveling between HK/Macau/Mainland then this offers you a data pack to suit

  • 7-Day Data Pack $98/2GB

For more visit https://www.smartone.com. Smartone can only be purchased in a Smarttone store or from their website.

4. 3 Mobile HK

HK$98 Mainland China, Hong Kong & Macau Roaming mobile Data Prepaid SIM

  • 30-Day Pass / 2GB Roaming Data

Three mobile sims can be purchased online or in their stores https://www.three.com.hk.

Who is the fastest mobile network in HK?

According to Open Signal – opensignal.com

csl dominates our speed metrics – csl won both our Download and Upload Speed Experience awards with scores well ahead of its competitors. Its average download connection of 22.1 Mbps was the only Download Speed Experience score over 20 Mbps, and csl’s average upload connection of 9.5 Mbps was a full 2 Mbps faster than its nearest rival’s, according to our measurements.

All the networks rate highly for coverage.

Free WiFi access

The first thing to note about Hong Kong, free WiFi can be difficult to locate and when you do it can also be time-limited, this is an oddly stark comparison to nearby Shenzhen where WiFi is seemingly ubiquitous and freely available.

Starbucks and Pacific Coffee both offer time-limited free internet access with purchase, but don’t expect this at all coffee shops, in fact some have no WiFi at all which can be somewhat disappointing after paying 30+ for a coffee.

There is free WiFi at MTR stations, for 15 minutes per session, not everywhere in the station, you’ll need to look for the ‘MTR Free Wi-Fi’ sign.

There is also free service under Wi-Fi HK which lists hotspots provided by businesses around Hong Kong that offer a minimum of 30 minutes free connection time and some offer unlimited time. There is also free WiFi at government buildings, some parks and public venues, see the list at https://www.wi-fi.hk/en and you can download an app to help locate hotspots.