I learned the hard way on an early trip to Hong Kong that spending a week or two in the terriory roaming on a US mobile phone can get expensive quickly. Fortunately, there are several solutions, and probably many more I have yet to discover. Here are my favorites.
1. The first solution is by far the easiest: just work with us exclusively as a candidate. We would never want you to pick working with us because of the convenience of a simple telephone (and there are lots of other reasons we should be your choice of recruiting firm). Our candidates who travel to Hong Kong on interview trips with us receive a mobile phone on request for use while in Hong Kong. Just ask, we’ll send you a phone loaded with enough credit to get you through a week, and then send back when you are finished. We have enough phones available that we should have one for you if you need one.
2. For those who prefer more of a do-it-yourself approach, our provider of choice in Hong Kong is 3 Mobile. They are reliable, cheap, and have great coverage. If you have an unlocked phone of your own, it’s simple to pick up a SIM Card at any 3 shop on arrival. For people interviewing in Hong Kong, the most convenient Three store is on the north side of Des Vouex Road just under World Wide House. To be sure your local phone is not locked, call your provider before you depart the US. Alternatively, purchase a phone in Hong Kong at a store In World Wide House for about US$50.
3. For anyone who has a blackberry, you can continue to use the Blackberry to access email for a reasonable charge while in Hong Kong and then make calls on the local phone. The one major risk with a Blackberry/local phone solution is that calls tend to continue to come in on your Blackberry while you are overseas. Every call, even if you reject it, winds up costing you while the other party lets it ring or leaves a voice message.
4. I use an IPhone, which solves this problem but requires a slightly more complex solution and a bigger up front investment. First, you need an unlocked IPhone, which has only recently become available in the US from Apple. From experience, I can tell you that using an Iphone in Hong Kong with a US data plan will cost you easily $300 for just a week of heavy use. So don’t think for a moment that the premium on the unlocked phone is not worth the cost. Second, you need a prepaid sim card with a data plan. This is also available from Three.
If you have any questions on mobility in Hong Kong, feel free to email us at email@example.com. We’ll help out.
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