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Thread: What service to use in Hong Kong? [Voice+Text+Data]

  1. #1
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    What service to use in Hong Kong? [Voice+Text+Data]

    I'm going to Hong Kong + Japan in a week and a half and was wondering what carrier would be best.

    From research and asking around, I think that the one2free CSL Power Prepaid SIM + 30 day data add-on would be the best for me. ($10 cents local calling, etc.)
    http://one2free.hkcsl.com/jsp/prepai...es/charges.jsp

    Some questions:
    1. Is it 3.5/3G data?
    2. Can I roam in Japan?
    3. Any BlackBerry data in HK prepaid?

    HC - NO "i" also stated in his thread that in-device WAP doesn't work?
    So... I wouldn't be able to use data on my BlackBerry/Touch HD?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Are you looking at best rate for local calls or LD? (Calls back to Canada)

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    I'm actually in a similar situation but actually heading to Shanghai at the same time. Last time I used Vodafone and by far their reception has been the best, but this time would prefer to have data+LD somewhere in the bundle.
    Early xmas present for myself : 3.2cybershot phone

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    I don't care as I am going to be calling local cell phones. Long d AFAIK is cheaper than Canadian rates and I am fine with that. I just want a package that can get me voice (mainly local) + on device/tethered data (BIS preferred) and texting.

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    ultran00b,

    Greetings.

    Answer your questions...

    1. CSL offers 3G/3.5G (UMTS/HSPA) service in Hong Kong - even for pre-paid subscribers, but make sure your device supports the UMTS Band I (2100) and/or VIII (900).

    2. Roaming outside Hong Kong with CSL Power pre-paid is possible - BUT very EXPEN$IVE. Also there is no guarantee on the data service availability while roaming. The dailing sequence is also cumbersome too with prefixes and wait for the connection call-back... http://one2free.hkcsl.com/jsp/prepai...how_to_use.jsp

    Japanese carriers are NOT keen on allowing foreign handsets to be roam on their networks, nor they allow non-resident to activate / sign-up local services, even there is UMTS compatible one run by Softbank (Vodafone). Renal service, however, is available...

    Softbank (WCDMA/UMTS compatible): http://www.softbank-rental.jp/
    NTT DoCoMo (WCDMA/FOMA): http://roaming.nttdocomo.co.jp/en/service/index.html

    3. I am not aware of any BlackBerry BIS/BES pre-paid service in Hong Kong.

    4. With 3 HK 3G Int'l Roaming Rechargeable SIM Card, WAP works but they are significantly more expensive... As for the CSL Power Prepaid, it depends on the configuration of your device. The problem with WAP in the past was that my older Nokia S60.3 FP1 handsets cannot set the native browser to use the "internet" APN (i.e. the one use for tethering or modem), it would only use the WAP APN. However, the newer Nokia S60.3 FP2 handsets could change the categories of the access points. Anyway, it is not a major issue for me as long as Opera Mobile works.
    Last edited by HC - NO "i"; 04-18-2010 at 03:21 PM. Reason: Updates with correct URLs
    --

    HC - NO "i"
    I am NOT "the" HC, we are TWO different individuals!


    "If we amplify everything, we hear nothing!" - Jon Stewart, Comedian

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    Thanks for the informative post as usual HC. I was wondering what options there are for a trouble free on device data experience. I mainly need to use Opera Mini and Google Maps. (On the BlackBerry and the Touch HD.)

    So would the Power prepaid SIM allow me to use data on device and tethered or tether only? (Not the roaming data sim)

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    ultran00b,

    You are welcome.

    What I meant for is that the CSL Data Pre-paid service is using regular "internet" data APN that is NOT intended for WAP session. Tethering is using the regular APN, rather than the access point designed for WAP. Some devices (like those Nokia I have mentioned earlier), the native browser cannot be set to use other access point configurations except WAP. If your RIM BlackBerry and HTC Touch HD can go online with any app with the regular APN, it will be fine. In my experience, Google Maps and Opera Mobile/Mini, for example, can go through the regular APN.

    BTW, be sure to load up the account accordingly AND activate the Data Pre-paid service... http://one2free.hkcsl.com/jsp/prepai...services.jsp#3

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    Yes sir. Thanks a lot for your help!

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    This probably only answers one part of your needs, but if you don't mind EDGE, you can always go with Peoples. Unlimited data for 98HKD/month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsTrObOy
    This probably only answers one part of your needs, but if you don't mind EDGE, you can always go with Peoples. Unlimited data for 98HKD/month.
    AsTrObOy,

    You mean the HK$98 Unlimited GPRS + Wi-Fi Usage? It is NOT a pre-paid but monthly plan.

    For unlimited pre-paid data at PEOPLES, there is a HK$139 one (after subscribing first to $78 "Mobile Data Package")... http://www.peoples.com.hk/p_prepaid_...datasim_tc.jsp at EDGE speed.

    Otherwise I would rather go for Pacific Coffee with their complimentary PCCW Netvigator Broadband Service through computer terminals in their stores

    Anyway, I would pick the HK$48 or $78 PEOPLES Super Talk Prepaid SIM Card for local voice service in Hong Kong for the lowest rates during non-peak hours.

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    My mistake, thanks for clarifying HC - NO "i". It was promotional pricing when I was around (Aug-Oct 2009) for the prepaid option at $98 -sad it went back up to $139. I liked the free internet at Pacific Coffee but I could never seem to score a terminal.

    Quote Originally Posted by HC - NO "i"
    AsTrObOy,

    You mean the HK$98 Unlimited GPRS + Wi-Fi Usage? It is NOT a pre-paid but monthly plan.

    For unlimited pre-paid data at PEOPLES, there is a HK$139 one (after subscribing first to $78 "Mobile Data Package")... http://www.peoples.com.hk/p_prepaid_...datasim_tc.jsp at EDGE speed.

    Otherwise I would rather go for Pacific Coffee with their complimentary PCCW Netvigator Broadband Service through computer terminals in their stores

    Anyway, I would pick the HK$48 or $78 PEOPLES Super Talk Prepaid SIM Card for local voice service in Hong Kong for the lowest rates during non-peak hours.

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    Thanks for the suggestion Astroboy, but EDGE is too slow for me I will stick with the CSL 3G.


    Quote Originally Posted by HC - NO "i"
    AsTrObOy,

    You mean the HK$98 Unlimited GPRS + Wi-Fi Usage? It is NOT a pre-paid but monthly plan.

    For unlimited pre-paid data at PEOPLES, there is a HK$139 one (after subscribing first to $78 "Mobile Data Package")... http://www.peoples.com.hk/p_prepaid_...datasim_tc.jsp at EDGE speed.

    Otherwise I would rather go for Pacific Coffee with their complimentary PCCW Netvigator Broadband Service through computer terminals in their stores

    Anyway, I would pick the HK$48 or $78 PEOPLES Super Talk Prepaid SIM Card for local voice service in Hong Kong for the lowest rates during non-peak hours.
    I might consider using the the Touch HD for data, and then the BB for voice? Seems like a plan? It would suck to carry around two phones along with a heavy SLR + lens + accessories everyday though. Peoples could be an option for my mom who is going as well.

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    AsTrObOy,

    No problem. I could only follow as per their websites are providing. I have tried them all over the years but prefer to stay with CSL (or 3 HK), for the reliability, longer expiry time, available data options in reasonable pre-paid rates. Competition is stiff in Hong Kong with 3 HK, CSL/1010/NewWorldMobility, Smartone-Vodafone, China Mobile-PEOPLES, PCCW. So pricing goes up and down. Just that pre-paid seems to stabilize a little, but more data options. As for Pacific Coffee... yes, it is quite crowded with their terminals even a 15-minute reminder is in placed if someone is waiting. So I only do it during early morning or at some less crowded stores.

    ultran00b,

    Unless you are having a business trip or dealing with mission-critical assignment that requires constant global on-demand communication, I suggest you to set aside your bulky smartphones for the vacation... Forget about the push email, IM, tweets, facebook reply! Use them as tools to blog your journey, share you adventures with friends and family rather ~ Find the excitement in the fast pace city, enjoy the food, enjoy the deal hunting while you shop!

    Sometimes I would simply buy a "slim" handset right there (through trade-in at a trusted spot I always go or a straight buy from the chain to get more "freebies").


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    Quote Originally Posted by HC - NO "i"
    AsTrObOy,

    No problem. I could only follow as per their websites are providing. I have tried them all over the years but prefer to stay with CSL (or 3 HK), for the reliability, longer expiry time, available data options in reasonable pre-paid rates. Competition is stiff in Hong Kong with 3 HK, CSL/1010/NewWorldMobility, Smartone-Vodafone, China Mobile-PEOPLES, PCCW. So pricing goes up and down. Just that pre-paid seems to stabilize a little, but more data options. As for Pacific Coffee... yes, it is quite crowded with their terminals even a 15-minute reminder is in placed if someone is waiting. So I only do it during early morning or at some less crowded stores.

    ultran00b,

    Unless you are having a business trip or dealing with mission-critical assignment that requires constant global on-demand communication, I suggest you to set aside your bulky smartphones for the vacation... Forget about the push email, IM, tweets, facebook reply! Use them as tools to blog your journey, share you adventures with friends and family rather ~ Find the excitement in the fast pace city, enjoy the food, enjoy the deal hunting while you shop!

    Sometimes I would simply buy a "slim" handset right there (through trade-in at a trusted spot I always go or a straight buy from the chain to get more "freebies").

    [IMG][/IMG]
    Well said. I'm gonna keep the smartphones though as I need communication with friends and family and I want to be able to use Google maps to search for directions etc. I will enjoy taking photos and just mopping up the culture in Hong Kong and Japan for the duration of 3 weeks that I am there for. Although I was not born in HK and even though my parents have been living in North America for >25 years, I haven't been back since I was 3 (for 1 week at that time) and I really feel disconnected from my roots. Don't get me wrong, although I don't indulge in the unique culture in Asia, I want to experience first-hand how different it really is.

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    ultran00b,

    Keep an open mind and always keep a bottle of water around (Watson's, in my mind ). Surely, the air is not as fresh, the smog is often spoil the blue sky and the humidity is high. But there are always excitement and new discoveries.

    To get the card in Hong Kong during the business hours, you can even buy it right at the airport if your flight is arrived there not too early / late. It is on the Departure Level, http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/s...udio/1010.html Remember to tell the staff to load up enough balance for the data service add-on, AND activate the data service!

    Otherwise, check with the convenient stores like 7-Eleven or OK. They are everywhere and always open. Tell them the CSL Power Prepaid SIM Card "KIT". Keep a print copy in Chinese for reference... http://one2free.hkcsl.com/jsp/prepai...d_features.jsp

    When making LD calls back to Canada, I strongly recommend you to use the IDD 1718, rather than IDD 001 - the "quality" means HK$0.10 more per minute... http://one2free.hkcsl.com/jsp/prepai...ateTable_E.pdf

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