How to make cheap calls while roaming in Hong Kong with China Mobile
Many people don’t know this – as a matter of fact I didn’t until last week – that China Mobile has a great plan to allow you to make roaming calls in Hong Kong for much cheaper than their standard rates. Please note that as far as I know this only applies to China Mobile prepaid SIM cards.
When you cross the border into Hong Kong you’ll find that regardless of which carrier you roam onto, China Mobile will send you the following text message:
Translation: Dear customer, you are roaming in Hong Kong! Making local calls costs 1.19 yuan / min; dial +86 plus the telephone number to call the Mainland for 3.99 yuan / min; receive calls for 2.19 yuan / min; China Mobile users send SMS text messages for 1.19 yuan each.
However, if BEFORE you leave for Hong Kong, you send China Mobile a text message to 10086 with BLHKRTC, you’ll be signing up for their Hong Kong daily roaming plan. When you do this you’ll receive the following text message back:
Translation: Dear customer: Your application has been accepted, and your request will take effect within 2 hours. This service has a daily fee of 2.9 yuan / day in addition to any phone usage. Calls to a Hong Kong telephone cost 0.39 yuan / minute, calls to the Mainland cost 0.69 yuan / minute, and sending text messages cost 0.19 yuan each. Hong Kong’s free service hotline is 22117888. If you arrive in Hong Kong and have no network, try to reboot the phone and enter the “network selection” menu, and ensure your network is selected as “CMHK” or “China Mobile HK”. From: China Mobile Guangdong
NOTE: This is important – ensure your network is selected to China Mobile Hong Kong and not a different carrier or I’m not sure you’ll get the same rates. Also, you must be in China when you send this text message or it won’t work.
Now, because the service costs 2.9 yuan per day, you’ll only want to keep the service active while you’re actually in Hong Kong. When you want to cancel the service (which you can do from Mainland or Hong Kong such as you might want to do if leaving from the airport) simply send another text message to 10086 with the contents QXHKRTC.
You’ll receive back the following text message:
Translation: Dear User: Hello, You have successfully canceled the Hong Kong Day package. You are welcome to activate it again (send BLHKRTC to 10086). From: China Mobile Guangdong
So there you have it – reasonable Hong Kong roaming charges on China Mobile! Now if only we could have data too…
If anyone has any other interesting China Mobile access codes please share!