Guide

Guide

Hong Kong Telephones

Phones in Hong Kong

Telephone numbers in Hong Kong are mostly eight-digit. Fixed land line numbers start with 2 or 3, cellular (mobile) phone numbers with 5, 6 or 9, pager numbers with 7 and forwarding service with 8. There is no area code today in Hong Kong.

Country Code: 852
International Call Prefix: varies, depending on IDD provider, however 001 works on all phone lines and uses the IDD service provided by the same carrier as the telephone line that 001 call is dialed from.

1970s
In the 1970s, area codes were assigned with the following pattern.

 3 Kowloon, New Kowloon and Sai Kung
 5 Hong Kong Island and Outlying Islands
 12 New Territories

There was no standard trunk prefix like '0' - only the area code and phone number were dialed when calling from one area code to another. Thus the Kowloon number xxx-xxx would have been dialed as follows:

xxx-xxx (from within Kowloon)
3 xxx-xxx (from Hong Kong Island or New Territories)
+852 3 xxx-xxx (from overseas)
1980s
In the mid 1980s, 6-digit numbers starting with '0' became 7-digit numbers starting with '71', making way for subsequent change of the New Territories prefix from '12' to '0'.

0xxxxx became 71xxxxx

Fixed-line phone numbers were either six- or seven-digit in the 1980s. Area codes were assigned with the following pattern.

 3 Kowloon, New Kowloon and Sai Kung
 5 Hong Kong Island and Outlying Islands
 0 New Territories

Cellular phone numbers are all eight-digit starting with '9'.

1990s
Early 1990s
On 1 January 1990, area codes were abolished. Area codes for six-digit numbers became part of subscriber's numbers. Area codes for seven-digit numbers were simply removed. Some six-digit numbers had the first digit changed to 2 digits to make a seven-digit number.

(3) xxx xxx became 3xx xxxx
(5) xxx xxx became 5xx xxxx
(0) Nxx xxx became nnx xxxx (N = 8, nn = 46)
(3) Nxx xxxx became Nxx xxxx (N = 7)
(5) Nxx xxxx became Nxx xxxx (N = 8 or 9)
(0) Nxx xxxx became Nxx xxxx (N = 4 or 6)
Mid 90's
In the mid 1990s, a '2' was prefixed to all fixed line (land line) numbers which are now eight-digit. A '7' was prefixed to existing pager service numbers.

xxx xxxx became 2xxx xxxx
11xx xxx became 711xx xxx
11xx xxxxx became 7xx xxxxx
9xxx xxxx remained unchanged
Late 90's
Before the introduction of portable fixed line numbers, numbers were assigned in a pattern akin to districts. For example, in addition to the existing 3, 5 and 0 prefixes, a 4 prefix was used for Tuen Mun and Yuen Long, 6 for Tai Po and Sha Tin, and 8 for Island East.
2000s until today
Numbers starting with '3' were introduced when '2' for fixed lines started running out. Cell phone numbers remain eight-digit. The number '6' started to be used when numbers started with '9' were running out. In May, 2008, cellular phone numbers with '5' as the beginning were also introduced.

2xxx xxxx fixed lines
3xxx xxxx fixed lines and dialup ISPs
5xxx xxxx cellular phones
6xxx xxxx cellular phones
7xxx xxxx pager services
8xxx xxxx forwarding services
9xxx xxxx cellular phones

For example, one can request a SkypeIn number which is usually in the form of 81xx xxxx.

Making international calls
+(Country Code) (Area code) xxxx xxxx
+ is the access code for an IDD service provider.

Calls to Macau and the People's Republic of China are international, as are calls to Taiwan.

 Macau +853 xxx xxx
 China +86 (Area Code) xxxx xxxx
 Taiwan +886 (Area Code) xxx xxxx

During the years of telephone monopoly, + was 106 (through 1980s) and then 001.

Emergency services and other special numbers
Telephone number for emergency services --- Police, Fire Service and Ambulance --- is 999 for land or fixed lines.

For mobile and other users:

992 - fax on fixed line, SMS on mobile phones (for subcribers with disabilities)
112 - mobile phones
Some special numbers are three- to five-digit. Some premium rate services, for example for games, are 9-digit.

Numbers beginning with 1 are usually reserved for carrier/operator services. These services are provided by the individual telephone carrier. In general, these numbers can be used across all carriers:

Directory services can be reached at 1081 (English) and 1083 (Cantonese).
Time and temperature information can be reached at 18501 (English) and 18503 (Cantonese).
Communications in Hong Kong
References from Telephone_numbers_in_Hong_Kong
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