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Media & Communication

Telephone in Hong Kong: Fixed Lines

In 1882, the Oriental Telephone and Electric Company launched Hong Kong’s first public telephone service. Since then, Hong Kong’s telephone market has come a long way, with constant introductions of new services and providers and the full liberalization of the telecommunications market in 2000.

Although mobile phones and the Internet have all but taken over the telecommunications market, fixed line telephone services in Hong Kong are still in demand. A great number of providers in Hong Kong offer services which cater to telephone, mobile phone, and internet users as well as combo packages. An alternative to the traditional landline is the IP Telephony Service that many providers offer.

Despite their modern networks and services, not all Hong Kong telephone service providers offer services in every district. Some networks only cover certain parts of Hong Kong. Make sure to find out which districts your provider covers before you sign anything.

Telephone in Hong Kong: Hong Kong’s Telephone Service Providers

Among the many licensed Hong Kong telephone service providers, the five biggest and most popular companies are:

Out of these five, PCCW is Hong Kong’s largest provider for fixed lines, and you can also request your PCCW connection online. Furthermore, they are only company obligated to provide universal service. This means PCCW has to offer the same services at the same price to any household anywhere in Hong Kong, regardless of district or exact location. Other telephone companies are free to choose the districts in which they operate. This is usually a strictly commercial decision.

The large number of service operators and the liberalization of the local telecommunications market make for a competitive environment when it comes to prices and quality of service. Therefore it is very important to research all the companies above carefully to find the right offer for your personal needs.

Telephone in Hong Kong: Phone Contracts

Before you sign a contract, it is important to know the terms and conditions in order to understand which telephone services are covered and which situations could become problematic or expensive.

Telephone in Hong Kong: IP Telephony

In addition to traditional fixed lines, many service providers also offer IP Telephony via broadband internet connections. Here, you can choose between “class 1 service” and “class 2 service.”

Class 1 service basically offers the same features a conventional phone connection. The numbers are eight digits with “2” or “3” as prefix. Class 2 service does not provide everything a conventional phone line would. There is no number portability, which means that, as soon as you change your provider or change from class 2 to class 1, you will lose your number. Class 2 service numbers also consist of eight digits, with “57” or “58” as prefix. Your provider must declare that they offer class 2 services.

Both services have to supply a free access to emergency call services. The quality of IP telephony services depends on the internet network they use. Try to get more details on the connection quality from your provider. Also enquire about restrictions and payment schemes on long-distance calls. As is the case with conventional telephone connections, you should find out in advance which districts and areas are covered by your provider and how a contract cancellation works.

Telephone in Hong Kong: Further Information


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

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