Communications in Hong Kong

Communications in Hong Kong

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A wide-ranging and sophisticated communications network has developed in Hong Kong, reflecting its thriving commerce and international importance.

See also Telecommunications industry in Hong Kong

There are some 60 online newspapers (in various languages, but mostly Chinese) and the numbers of online periodicals run into the hundreds. The territory is in addition the East and Southeast Asian headquarters for most of the major international communications and media services.

Broadcast media and news is provided by several television and radio companies, one of which is government-run. Television provides the major source of news and entertainment for the average family, and the Chinese television programs produced are not only for local consumption but also for overseas markets.

Hong Kong also ranks as an important centre of publishing and printing: numerous books are published yearly for local consumption, several leading foreign publishers have their regional offices in Hong Kong, and many international magazines are printed in the territory.



International dialling code: +852

Telephones - main lines in use: 3.849 million (2007)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 9.310 million (Feb 2007)

Telephone system: modern facilities provide excellent domestic and international services

  • domestic: microwave radio relay links and extensive fiber-optic network
  • international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean); coaxial cable to Guangzhou, China; access to 5 international submarine cables providing connections to ASEAN member nations, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Middle East, and Western Europe
  • Major fixed-line operators: Pacific Century Cyber Works
  • Major cellular operators: 3, SmarTone-Vodafone, PCCW Mobile(formally Sunday), Peoples, New World, CSL
  • 3G Licensees: 3 (owned by Hutchison), CSL, SmarTone, Sunday (service provided by PCCW Mobile)

The telecommunication industry was deregulated in 1995. Competition in this sector is fierce. You can get 10 Mbit/s up and down unlimited VDSL, telephone line rental, unlimited local calls, and 100 minutes of international calls for US$25/month. Telephone line rental and unlimited local calls is only US$3/month.


Radio broadcast stations: AM 7, FM 13, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: 4.45 million (1997)


Hong Kong has two broadcast television stations, ATV and TVB, which are free for viewers. The latter, launched in 1967, was the territory's first free-to-air commercial station, and is currently the predominant TV station in the territory. Paid cable and satellite television have also been widespread. The production of Hong Kong's soap drama, comedy series and variety shows have reached mass audiences throughout the Chinese-speaking world. Many international and pan-Asian broadcasters are based in Hong Kong, including News Corporation's STAR TV. Hong Kong's terrestrial commercial TV networks, TVB and ATV, can also be seen in neighboring Guangdong Province and Macau (via cable).


Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 179 (May 2007)

  • Dial-up access accounts: 0.99 million (Mar 2007)
  • Broadband Internet access accounts: 1.79 million (Mar 2007)
  • Country code (Top-level domain): .hk

Broadband Internet access

As of April 2006 HKBN offers its customers internet access with speeds starting from 10 Mbit/s up to 1000 Mbit/s (1 Gbit/s) via Fiber to the building and Fiber to the Home. However the speed to non-Hong Kong destinations is capped to 20 Mbit/s. As of November 2009, the company was offering 100 Mbit/s service for $99HK (about $13 U.S.) per month.

Major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) include:

  • PCCW Netvigator, with a 95% coverage area and providing internet access to 1.9 million users. ADSL connections, speeds up to 8M/800K are priced differently. Newly constructed apartments have ADSL2 and VDSL connections, which have speeds up to 30M/10M. FTTH for last mile broadband of speeds up to 1G/1G. Business plans may have speeds up to 10G/10G.
  • HGC ADSL & VDSL broadband of speeds up to 100M/100M.
  • NWT ADSL & VDSL broadband of speeds up to 10M/10M.
  • HKBN Metro Ethernet (CAT-5E/FTTH for last mile) broadband of speeds up to 1G/1G.
  • One Broadband ADSL broadband of speeds up to 8M/256K.
  • I-cable Broadband Cable Broadband of speeds up to 130M/10M shared by one tower (tens of apartments).

Internet censorship in Hong Kong

  • In March 1995, Hong Kong police raided all but one of the pioneering local ISPs offering dialup service, confiscated their servers and records and shut them down for a week blocking the access of 5000 to 8000 of Hong Kong's early internet adopters. The heavy-handed raids were thought to be instigated by Supernet (the one ISP not shut down) and coordinated by the Office of Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) working with the Commercial Crime Bureau (CCB) on the premise that the ISPs were operating without applying for a then-obscure Public Non-Exclusive Telecommunications Service (PNETS) License. Companies shut down were: Hong Kong Internet & Gateway Services (HKIGS), Hong Kong Link InfoLink Ilink, Internet Online Hong Kong, Cybernet, Internet Connections and Asia Online.
  • On 27 January 2008, The Hong Kong Police Force arrested suspects who were accused of uploading pornographic images after a multi-billion entertainment company filed a complaint about these photos available on the internet having been fabricated and might charge the offender for defamation.[1] The charges were dropped in mid-February.

See also


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