update: a helpful hint from the good people over at The Flight Deal:
@jonk a tip: at HKG, go up to Departure level, there is a 1010 stand that sells SIMs with staff that speaks good english.
— The Flight Deal (@TheFlightDeal) October 3, 2013
who: one2free, which came highly recommended by a HK local (i find this SO LOL-WORTHY, since umm, free is how someone with a Chinese accent might say three)
where: according to Prepaid With Data wiki page for Hong Kong, you should be able to buy SIM cards at 7-Elevens or other convenience stores. our airbnb is on the border of Causeway Bay and Wan Chai so we went down to Lockhart Road where we saw a 7-Eleven. unfortunately they didn’t have any one2free cards so we went down the block to the Circle K. they had a TON of cards there from all sorts of providers. the employee’s English was limited but thankfully i had my parents with me. i’m sure that you could manage, though, if you just asked for “one2free”. again, your mileage may vary depending on who’s manning the counter.
what you need: money. LOL that’s it! just pay for the card and pop it in.
price: there were several packs available with varying amounts of start funds. my dad got the HK$48 “Local Call” pack since all he wants is to use voice (and voice rates are much better with this card); i got the HK$100 (US $12.90) “Mobile Broadband” pack, though i’m not sure what the difference is here — it looks like you can qualify for the same types of data packages but the call prices are higher. it may be best to get the $48 “Local Call” SIM and top up so you have enough to get whatever data package you need (see below).
activation: immediate. make a call or send an SMS to activate the card, it says.
caution: there is a USSD code listed for buying data on the Prepaid Wiki page which matches a sticker on the package — HK$88 for 1 GB by dialing *101*833*3#, but every time i tried, i got an SMS saying it failed. maybe this plan doesn’t work with the Mobile Broadband card? i tried calling the service line that’s listed on the back of the package but everything is automated and i couldn’t get a human.
starting to get worried, i popped open the User Guide leaflet:
i saw you can manage your account by going to one2free.com/nextg-prepaid (not linked since it only works on their 3G) and add a service pass. i was able to successfully purchase a 7-day pass.
i’m not sure what the difference is between the 1 GB 30-day pass for HK$88 and the 7-day unlimited internet pass for HK$78, but if you’re here for only a short amount of time, might as well go for the HK$78 deal. the fine print says that once you reach the fair use limit of 5 GB/month, you may be given lower priority and your speed may drop during heavy network usage, but never below 128 kbps.