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How to get mobile internet in Hong Kong: What is the best option?

Here we will tell you about the different options to connect to the internet in Hong Kong, such as eSIM, Roaming, Pocket Wifi, and more!

Şubat 16, 2023

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If you are traveling to Hong Kong, this article is perfect for you. Here we are going to tell you about the different options to connect to the internet during your trip. We will talk about the eSIM card, the roaming service, WiFi, Pocket WiFi, and local SIM cards. So at the end of this article, you will be able to choose the best alternative to connect to the internet in Hong Kong.

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Alternatives to connecting to the Internet in Hong Kong

Here you are going to read about alternatives to connect abroad, from the SIM card to the eSIM chip, pocket WiFi, roaming, and free WiFi. It is very easy to remain connected to the internet while traveling, but you must choose the option that best suits you. That’s why we will help you by telling you all the details of each alternative. Keep reading to find out more!

The eSIM card: a new and great alternative

The eSIM card, or virtual SIM card, is a new technological development that is the evolution of traditional SIM cards. It works like the traditional SIM, but the eSIM card is not a physical device that you have to insert into your cellphone because it is already integrated into the device from the factory.

This alternative is a great way to get the internet wherever you go. It guarantees a great and stable connection!

People walking around Hong Kong. Source: Pexels.

Where can I get an eSIM card with mobile data for Hong Kong?

You can find unlimited data plans on the Holafly online store, with accessible prices and for the number of days you need.

Prices and data plans:

  • 5 days $19.00 – Unlimited data
  • 10 days $34.00 – Unlimited data
  • 15 days $47.00 – Unlimited data
  • 20 days $54.00 – Unlimited data
  • 30 days $64.00 – Unlimited data
  • 60 days $84.00 – Unlimited data
  • 90 days $99.00 – Unlimited data

What do I need to buy an eSIM card?

Make sure that your cellphone is eSIM compatible.

From iPhone XS, and XR onwards; Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Fold, Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and newer models; Huawei P40, P40 Pro, Huawei Mate 40 Pro and newer models; Google Pixel 3, 3a (some versions do not support eSIM), Google Pixel 4, 4 XL, 4a, 5 and newer models; Oppo Find X3 Pro, Oppo Reno 5A, Motorola Razr (2019) and the Motorola Razr 5G (dual SIM).

You need to make sure that your cellphone has unlocked bands, so you can use it with the carrier you want.

You can try this by replacing the SIM card on your cellphone with a SIM card from another operator. If you cannot use the alternative cellular network, it is not unlocked, so we recommend you travel with a cellphone that works properly with different carriers.

What does the Holafly eSIM card include?

  • Access to the best cellular networks in Hong Kong:
  • Hutchison Telecommunications / Hong Kong Telecommunications
  • Speed: 3G/4G/LTE
  • Data plan: Unlimited
  • Plan Type: Prepaid
  • Calls: through Apps (VOIP)
  • You keep your WhatsApp number.

(You may be interested in how to have mobile internet in Iran)

How do I activate the Holafly eSIM card?

The eSIM card is very easy to set up. After you complete the purchase, you will receive a QR code on your email, which you have to scan with your cellphone when you get to Hong Kong. You will be connected almost immediately upon arrival! Additionally, if you have an iPhone, you will be able to download the Holafly eSIM app for your iPhone and activate the eSIM through the app.

SIM card for Hong Kong

To help you save some time, once you get your SIM card for Hong Kong, we recommend you purchase with verified cellular providers. You can find these stores at the Hong Kong International Airport.

  • China Mobile
  • Three Hong Kong (CK Hutchison)
  • SmarTone
  • CSL (Hong Kong Telecom)

At the airport exit, you will find prepaid SIM cards with multiple options and prices. The information is available in English and their native languages (Chinese and Cantonese). You also have to consider that the local currency is the Hong Kong dollar.

So, to avoid these inconveniences, we recommend the Holafly eSIM card with cellular data, you can complete make the purchase online, no matter where you are, and you will receive it in no time!

How do I know if my cellphone will work with a SIM card in Hong Kong?

traveler using internet in Hong Kong
Source: FreePik.

It is very important you consider the following aspects:

What are frequency bands?

A frequency band is a radio frequency that lets your cellphone remain connected to the internet. The device works when the frequency band connects it to the network, letting you use apps like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and much more.

What is compatibility?

As we told you before, compatibility is the effectivity with which a frequency connects your phone with an available cellular network. For example, if a frequency band does not connect your cellphone to the internet in Hong Kong, it is incompatible with your cellphone.

Now that you have read about this, we are going to tell you below what are the frequency bands that work in Hong Kong:

  • 2G: 900MHz, 1800MHz.
  • 3G: 850MHz, 900MHz, 2100MHz.
  • 4G: Band3-1800MHz, Band7-2600MHz, Band8-900MHz, Band40-2300MHz.

Nowadays, most cellphones are compatible with these frequency bands, but it is important you check this aspect so you make sure you can use your cellphone with no issues.  

Roaming service in Hong Kong

Your cellphone can connect to the internet anywhere in the world, but your operator won’t charge you the same rate if you leave your home country and travel out of your local area to Hong Kong.

This service is called international roaming, and it has rates that can be very high for your trips’ budget. See below for the comparison chart of three operators from the USA and the UK:

OperatorCellular dataConnected calls
AT&T$2.05/MB$3.00/min
T-Mobile$15/MB$0.25/min
Vodafone$6/day$1.79/min
Cellular operator’s rates for international roaming to Hong Kong

As you can see, international roaming service may cost between $2.05 to $15 for every MB you use and, with some providers, $6 per day. So, we recommend you get a reasonably priced data plan, like the one Holafly offers for its eSIM card because this little device will connect to the main networks in Hong Kong, managed by carriers like Hutchison Telecommunications / Hong Kong Telecommunications for you to have the best connection.

Pocket WiFi to have the internet in Hong Kong

Like SIM cards with cellular data, Pocket WiFi offers a private network for you to connect and enjoy a great connection. It is possible because these devices also use a SIM card with cellular data.

These devices can provide internet to more than just one device. Depending on the Pocket WiFi you buy, you can share the internet with 5 additional devices or more.

Why is Pocket WiFi not the best option?

Because you do not only pay for the renting of the device but for the SIM card you need to use it too. Also, if you lose the device, you will have to pay a very high fee, and you won’t be able to get the data plan back.

People in Hong Kong. Source: Pexels.

Free WiFi

The last option we are showing you in this article is free WiFi. It is an option that will not give you a reliable or stable internet connection, but you won’t have to pay anything to use it. If you don’t want to get an extra device or if you want to save money, then you can connect to the public networks you can find in the city. But remember, this is not the best option as it could be unsafe and unstable.

Comparison table between the different alternatives to get mobile internet in Hong Kong

Most services have similar characteristics, but some small aspects can make a difference, some as comfort, price, easy usage, safety, and more. You can find a comparison table below:

CharacteristicseSIM cardsSIM cardsRoamingPocket WiFiFree WiFi
Is it accessible?YesYesNoNoYes
Great connection?YesYesYesYesNo
Unlimited internet?YesYesNoYesYes
Additional cost?NoNoNoYesNo
Can I share cellular data with other devices?NoNoNoYesNo
Do I have to pay if I lose it?NoNoNoYesNo
Easy usage and installation?YesYesNoNoYes
Comparison table of different alternatives.

Which is the best alternative to connect to the internet in Hong Kong?

After reading all this information, we can conclude that the eSIM card is the best option for your trip because of the following reasons:

  • You have unlimited cellular data.
  • You receive a QR code with the eSIM in your email.
  • It is easy to set up and use.
  • No registrations or subscriptions.
  • You can buy the eSIM online.
  • You don’t need a physical card.
  • You keep your WhatsApp number.
  • You connect to the best cellular networks in Hong Kong.
  • Forget about roaming and looking for public networks at the airport.
  • You can pay with your usual preferred payment method.
  • You do not have to go, in person, to the operators’ store.
  • Avoid paperwork and save time.