Date
26 July 2017
Philip Leung says consumers need to be aware of the maximum amount of data a particular pocket Wi-Fi service allows. Photo: RHTK
Philip Leung says consumers need to be aware of the maximum amount of data a particular pocket Wi-Fi service allows. Photo: RHTK

Shop around for pocket Wi-Fi, consumer watchdog advises

People who plan to rent pocket Wi-Fi routers to be able to access the internet while traveling abroad should comparison shop among different brands, the Consumer Council advised.

The devices differ to a large degree in terms of connection speed, Ming Pao Daily reported, citing the consumer watchdog.

The battery-powered mobile routers allow Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones and tablets to connect to the internet via a mobile network.

Renting one is popular with overseas travelers.

A survey by the council revealed that rental prices for a pocket Wi-Fi router in Hong Kong can vary significantly, but paying more does not guarantee faster access.

Daily charges for pocket Wi-Fi service in South Korea, for instance, range from HK$30 (US$3.87) to HK$67, while the fastest connection speed claimed is 24 times that of the slowest.

The survey found that the top download speed in South Korea, up to 150 Mbps, is provided by pocket Wi-Fi routers from mobile service provider 3 Hong Kong, while it is only 6 Mbps for similar devices from Horizon.

Philip Leung Kwong-hon, vice chairman of the council, said consumers need to be aware of the maximum amount of data a particular pocket Wi-Fi service allows.

Those offering unlimited data usage might come with a speed limit, based on a fair usage policy, when a preset amount of data has been used.

While recommending rental of a pocket WiFi router when several people travel together, he said it could be more cost-effective to buy a traveler’s SIM card at the destination if there are only one or two users.

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