Most telecommunications companies offer residential and business services, international direct dialling (IDD) and broadband or dial-up Internet services. Some of the established providers include:
- New World Telecom (www.newworldtel.com)
- Wharf T & T (www.wharftt.com)
- HKNET (www.hknet.com)
- Hutchison Global Communications (www.hgc.com.hk).
Phone and internet providers and springing up all the time and tariffs change frequently, normally to better deals. Shop around and find out which deal is best for your personal needs.
Activating a phone line in Hong Kong
Most telephone landlines in Hong Kong are managed by PCCW (www.pccw.com), who need to activate the line so you can use it (independent of your phone provider). PCCW charges a fee for using the line, which has to be paid quarterly. If you don’t pay, your connection will be terminated and you will need to pay the bill in full, plus a reactivation charge to get reconnected.
Making a phone call in Hong Kong
Local calls are normally free in Hong Kong. Telephone numbers in Hong Kong are mostly eight-digit. Fixed land line numbers start with 2 or 3, cellular (mobile) phone numbers with 6 or 9, pager numbers with 7 and forwarding service with 8.
Some special numbers are three- to five-digit. Some premium rate services, for example for games, are 9-digit.
The telephone number for emergency services (Police, Fire Service and Ambulance) is 999.
Numbers beginning with 1 are usually reserved for carrier/operator services. These services are provided by the individual telephone carrier. In general, these numbers can be used across all carriers:
- Directory services can be reached at 1081 (English) and 1083 (Cantonese).
- Time and temperature information can be reached at 18501 (English) and 18503 (Cantonese).
For international calls, dial 00 + the country code of your destination. To call Hong Kong from abroad, dial your international calling number (00 for most of the world, 011 from North America and some other countries), the Hong Kong country code +852 and then the number.