Buying Three SIM Cards and eSIM for Tourists in 2024

When traveling abroad, staying in touch with friends and family back home is essential. For visitors to Macau, Three SIM cards and eSIM offer a smart solution. These SIMs allow tourists to access fast and reliable mobile service across the tiny region of Macau. In this guide, we will explore the best options from Three, how to buy and activate, and the best alternative for getting online during your trip to Macau.

THREE sim card & eSIM

I. Quick Facts about Three

Three Macau is one of the largest cellular network carriers in this region. Below are some facts about Three Macau you may need to know:

  • Founded: in 2000
  • Full company name: Hutchison Telephone (Macau) Company Limited
  • Types of services: 3G and 4G mobile phone services to customers in Macau
  • Coverage: Great coverage across Macau. Three Macau aims to cover all areas of Macau with their mobile network.
  • Number of users: 31% of the mobile phone subscribers in Macau (in the early years of 2000s)
  • Distribution: around 10-15 shops and dealers around Macau
  • Customer support: 24/7 via phone, email, online chat, or directly at store
  • Language: English, Mandarin, Portuguese, Cantonese
Three is one of the largest carriers in Macau
Three – One of the largest mobile network carriers in Macau

II. Why Three When Visiting Macau – Coverage and Speed

Let us dive into the coverage and data speed of Three in Macau to see if you should choose this carrier for your Macau trip.

1. Three Coverage in Macau

Three coverage map in Macau
Three coverage map in Macau (source: nPerf)
  • Three offers broad 4G access, covering all populated areas and roads in Macau.
  • Three installs many cell towers on buildings and structures throughout Macau. This includes the downtown peninsula area as well as outlying islands like Taipa and Coloane.
  • Three’s network can be unstable in some remote regions.

2. Three Speed

  • They operate 4G LTE networks, which can deliver data speeds much higher than older 3G technologies.
  • Speed tests by users have shown data speeds from Three Macau 4G reaching over 100 Megabits per second in many places.
  • Speeds may be a bit slower in some spots, like inside large buildings due to distance from nearby towers.

So in summary, Three provides Internet access across Macau with 4G speeds focused on the main urban centers for now. Remote areas can access basic Internet services.

III. What are the Best Connectivity Options of Three for Travelers to Macau?

Three Macau offers three (03) main options for visitors to stay connected:

Three SIM cards: physical SIM put into unlocked phones

  • Pros: affordable costs for cell data, calling & texting, various plans to choose from
  • Cons: unlocked cell phone needed

International roaming: use your home operator while in Macau

  • Pros: no SIM swap, familiar carrier/plan/number
  • Cons: costly, network coverage depends on agreements between your domestic carrier and Three Macau

Pocket Wifi: portable Wifi hotspot, rented from pocket Wifi provider

  • Pros: Internet sharing, multiple devices can connect to a pocket Wifi
  • Cons: extra devices and accessories to carry, need to return the device after trip

► Recommendation:

For the most reliable and cost-effective Internet access, Three SIM cards would be a top choice for travelers to Macau. Pocket Wifi is wonderful for those traveling in a group but rental process can be complicated and using international data roaming on your regular plan will likely cost a lot.

IV. Best Three SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

The table below shows some of the best Three SIM cards options for visitors to Macau.

DataValidityPriceLocal call tariffLocal message
2 GB of data30 daysMOP 48 – USD 5.95MOP 0.4/ minute– Intra local sms: free;
– Inter local sms: MOP 0.25/ sms
4 GB of data + 1.000 local airtime30 daysMOP 88 – USD 10.91MOP 0.4/ minute– Intra local sms: free;
– Inter local sms: MOP 0.25/ sms
12 GB of data for Macau data usage + 10.000 Macau call minutes + 3 GB of data Mainland China365 daysMOP 198 – USD 24.55 MOP 0.4/ minute– Intra local sms: free;
– Inter local sms: MOP 0.25/ sms

Pro Tips:

  • Remember to opt for the Three SIM plan that suits your data needs and trip length.
  • Prepare your passport/ ID card for ID verification and MOP cash/credit card for payment.
  • Regularly check Three’s official website for the latest details on Three SIM cards.

V. Does Three Support eSIM in Macau?

No. Three Macau does not support eSIM. 

eSIM (embedded SIM) is a small chip inside your phone or device that allows connectivity instead of a Macau physical SIM card. Though Three Macau does not offer eSIM, tourists to Macau can easily buy eSIM from a trusted third-party reseller like Gigago for flexibility and reliable Internet access.

So why choose Macau eSIM from Gigago?

Gigago offers a wide range of eSIM plans for tourists to Macau
Gigago eSIM plans for Macau
  • Easy online purchase and activation, just scan the QR code delivered to your email and follow the setup prompts. Your eSIM will be ready for use within minutes.
  • No store visit, no regular physical SIM required.
  • You can potentially have multiple cellular plans or networks on one device with eSIM.
  • No identity check
  • Gigago eSIM plans for Macau work on CTM network – The largest carrier with the widest coverage across Macau. These plans start at only $5.00 for 1GB a day, used in 5 days and range between $5.00$89.50 . Regardless of how much GB of data you need and how long your Macau trip is, there is always an eSIM solution for you with Gigago.

VI. Where to Buy a Three SIM card and eSIM?

Tourists to Macau may buy Three SIM cards and eSIM at the following places.

1. Where to Buy Three SIM Cards for Macau?

Tourists can purchase Three SIM cards for Macau at:

  • Three stores: Three has around 10-15 shops and dealers around Macau so you can easily buy at these shops.
  • Major airport: Buy Three SIM cards at Macau International Airport (MFM) – 7-Eleven Convenience Store, Arrival Hall.
Buy Three SIM cards at 7-Eleven convenience store, Macau International Airport
Buy Three SIM cards at 7-Eleven convenience store, Macau International Airport
  • Online: Visit the Three official website to book Three SIM cards online and then your new SIM will be delivered to your address.

Important Note: Airport rates are more expensive than SIMs at carrier stores, retailers, or online channels.

2. Where to Buy Three eSIM for Macau?

As Three eSIM does not provide eSIM for Macau, tourists can buy eSIM for Macau online via reliable third-party eSIM providers. Order an eSIM for Macau from Gigago. Everything (signup, payment, activation, etc.) will be done online. No ID check is needed.

Pro Tips:

  • Before signing up for Macau eSIM, confirm that your device works with eSIM.
  • Consider getting data-only eSIM plans for Macau to save money if you have apps like Telegram, WhatsApp, or Messenger for calling u0026amp; texting.

VII. How to Activate Three SIM/eSIM in Macau?

Just follow these steps and you will activate Three SIM/ eSIM in Macau successfully:

1. How to Activate Three SIM Cards in Macau?

To activate Three SIM cards, just follow these steps:

  • Insert Three SIM into your unlocked device
  • Swtich on your phone, wait for it to detect the SIM. Three Macau SIM are often pre-activated in most cases.
  • Configure APN settings
  • Check that cellular data is working by loading a web page.
  • Once activated, your Three SIM cards are ready to go. You can now make phone calls, send messgages, and use mobile data within your prepaid SIM balance validity period. 

2. How to Activate Three eSIM?

To activate eSIM for Macau, you just need to:

  • Download the eSIM plan
  • Activate the eSIM
  • Set up the eSIM
  • Use the eSIM: Once your eSIM is activated, you can enjoy eSIM services (data, calling, texting).

VIII. Alternatives to Macau Three SIM cards

Besides Three SIM cards, tourists to Macau can also use SIM cards/eSIM from other carriers in Macau such as CTM or SmarTone.

  • CTM has the widest coverage and delivers high-speed data across Macau. The prepaid plans from CTM start at around USD 9 for unlimited data in 3 days.
  • SmarTone boasts good coverage across Macau. Their plan options are also very affordable.
  • Gigago eSIMs for Macau are budget-friendly and diverse, catering to every traveler’s needs.

IX. FAQs about Three SIM cards and eSIM

Can travelers to Macau get a Three SIM card at the airport?

Yes, Three SIM cards are available for purchase at the 7-Eleven store in Macau International Airport. Tourists can easily get connected to Three’s network upon arrival.

Do I need a passport to buy a Three SIM card in Macau?

Yes, you will need to present your valid passport when purchasing Three SIM cards, as all customers are required to complete a verification process for regulatory reasons.

What payment methods can I use to top up a Three SIM card in Macau?

The most common methods to top up a Three SIM card are by cash in Macau Pataca at authorized retail stores or by debit/credit card via the Three app or online account top up pages.

X. Final Words

In conclusion, buying a Three SM card or eSIM is highly recommended for visitors to Macau. Three SIM cards allows tourists to access wide 4G network around Macau, offering an easy ways to make calls, send texts, look up information, navigate the locations, and much more. In addition, signing up for a prepaid eSIM plan from Gigago is also an excellent option to stay online while exploring Macau.