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Hong Kong - Telephone

The international dialing code of Hong Kong is 852. If you need to make an emergency call, you should dial 999. This will alert the police and/or ambulance service if that is required. Hong Kong itself does not have any area codes. Supported cell phone systems are GSM 900, PCS 1800 and CDMA. You can purchase pre-paid SIM cards from convenience stores and the Hong Kong mobile phone operators have roaming agreements with most of the overseas operators as well.

With one of the highest rates of telephone density in the world, expats will find that the mobile phone rates are competitive and that there are a variety of plans and services available to choose from.

There are a few ways to sign up for mobile phone service. Although providers will not ask for a visa to provide you with service, you will need proof of address if you want to sign a contract. Proof of address can include correspondence with public utilities, government departments, banks, or public organizations. In most cases, personal correspondence will not count as official communication.

When you’re looking at the different cell phone plans, keep in mind that some plans do not cover all services. Some services, for instance, such as mobile data services, call forwarding, and voice mail are extra fees. You should also carefully read your contract to see what your company considers to be “peak” and “off-peak” hours because costs might be more or less during these times. Some contracts are valid for 12 months while others require a 24 month commitment.

To keep customers from receiving high mobile phone bills, the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) has issued a Code of Practice for Service Contracts for the Provision of Public Mobile Radiotelephone Services. This has created basic guidelines and principles which establish the standards of mobile phone contracts. The code requires that the contracts be in both English and Chinese and ensures fair treatment. Not all mobile service providers follow the code, however, since it is voluntary. Some are using it, though, to help encourage trust with its customers.

On The Office of the Telecommunications Authority’s website, you can find information pertaining to licensed telecommunication providers, types of telecommunications services, and instructions on how to unsubscribe from commercial e-messages and how to register a complaint.

The Office of the Telecommunications Authority
Tel: 2961 6333

Mobile phone service and reception in Hong Kong is good, although the network can get congested at times. There might also be an interruption of service during some periods like heavy rainstorms and typhoons.

At present time, there are 5 fixed-line licensees in Hong Kong. You must have either a Hong Kong ID or passport and proof of residency in order to open up an account. A list of fixed-line operators in Hong Kong can be found on The Office of the Telecommunications Authority’s website at: http://www.ofta.gov.hk/en/tele-lic/ftns-lic.html

At the end of your contract, some service providers automatically renew your subscription. On the other hand, others require a full month's notice for service termination. Be aware that terminating a contract early usually comes with high penalties. You should also ensure to terminate all of the related services since these can be associated with the telephone number and not necessarily the company itself.

Some of the mobile phone service providers in Hong Kong include:

Pacific Century Cyberworks Limited (PCCW Ltd)
39/F PCCW Tower, Taikoo Place, 979 King's Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong
Tel: 1000 or 2888 2888
24 hour sales hotline: 2888 0008

Hutchison Global Communications (HGC)
9/F, Hutchison Telecom Tower, 99 Cheung Fai Road, Tsing Yi.
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 2128 2828 or 2128 3388

New World Telecom
17/F Chevalier Commercial Centre, 8 Wang Hoi Road, Kowloon Bay,
Tel: 2138 2138
http:// www.newworldtel.com

City Telecom Ltd
Tel: 2926 1234

One Tel
28/F Lancashire Centre, 361 Shau Kei Wan Road,
Shau Kei Wan
Tel: 2907 6000

EC Telecom
Tel: 2157 2157
http:// www.ectelecom.com

There are many providers in Hong Kong who offer packages that include the cost of telephone, mobile phone, and internet. This is often referred to as “bundling” and can be more cost-effective in some cases. However, not all of the Hong Kong telephone service providers have service available in all of the districts.

Instead of a fixed line service, you can get IP Telephony via broadband internet connections through some companies. With this, you can choose between “class 1 service” and “class 2 service.” Class 1 service essentially has the same features a conventional phone connection would have. Class 2 service does not offer all of the same services, including mobility which could be a problem if you move.

You can normally pay your bill online, by post, and at some convenience stores. You can also choose to have the money taken out of your bank account every month.

If you don’t want to sign a contract with a mobile phone, then you can purchase a prepaid SIM card. These are available for about HK$200 and you are charged per minute. You will also need to purchase the telephone to go with the card.

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

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Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.