Telephone numbers in Hong Kong

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Country Code: +852
International Call Prefix: 001 and others.
Trunk Prefix: none

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. Since 1990 there are no area codes within Hong Kong.

The 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[edit]

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

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:

1980s[edit]

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 patterns.

  • 3 Kowloon, New Kowloon, Ha Kwai Chung and Sai Kung
  • 5 Hong Kong Island and Outlying Islands
  • 0 New Territories

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

1990s[edit]

Early 1990s[edit]

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 two digits to make a seven-digit number.

  • (3) xxx xxx became 3xx xxxx
  • (3) 7xx xxxx became 7xx xxxx
  • (5) xxx xxx became 5xx xxxx
  • (5) Nxx xxxx became Nxx xxxx (N = 8 or 9)
  • (0) 8xx xxx became 46x xxxx
  • (0) Nxx xxxx became Nxx xxxx (N = 4 or 6)

Mid 1990s[edit]

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 remain unchanged

Late 1990s[edit]

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.

2000 onwards[edit]

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 and 'Class 2 Service' such as voice over IP
  • 6xxx xxxx – cellular phones
  • 7xxx xxxx – pager services
  • 8xxx xxxx – forwarding services
  • 9xxx xxxx – cellular phones

Making international calls[edit]

+(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 xxxx xxxx
  • 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[edit]

the telephone number for emergency services – Police, Fire Service and Ambulance – is 999 for all telephone lines.

These numbers can also be used for mobile and other users:

  • 992 – fax on fixed line, SMS on mobile phones (for subscribers with disabilities)
  • 112 – mobile phones

Some special numbers are three- to five-digit. Some premium rate services, for example for games and adult contents, are 11-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), 1083 (Cantonese) and 1088 (Mandarin.)
  • Time and temperature information can be reached at 18501 (English), 18503 (Cantonese) and 18508 (Mandarin.)

Telephone exchanges in Hong Kong[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]