How To Use Cell Phone In Macau: Traveler’s Guide To Stay Connected

Whether you are visiting Macau for a few days or longer, you will want to know how to easily use cell phone in Macau so you do not miss out on any messages or have trouble looking up information on your trip. Check out this detailed guide to learn about using mobile devices and the best options to get online while exploring the exciting city of Macau. 

How to use cell phone in Macau

I. Highlights of Phone Compatibility, Frequencies, and Network in Macau

To determine if you can use cell phone in Macau, you need to know some key points about phone compatibility, networks, and frequencies in this exciting region.

Phone compatibility: Most modern smartphones from around the world will work in Macau without issues.

Frequencies:

  • Macau mobile networks use standard GSM and 3G/4G networks on common frequencies like 900/1800MHz for 2G and 2100MHz for 3G. 
  • For 4G/LTE, they use bands 3, 7, and 38.

Networks:

  • Main cellular network operators in Macau: CTM, SmarTone, and Three Macau.
  • All have excellent signal coverage across Macau including popular tourist areas.

Pro Tips:

  • You can check online if your phone is unlocked and works in Macau frequencies. Phones from many countries should be compatible. 
  • Consider buying a local Macau SIM when you arrive. This gives you a Macau number for cheaper calls, texts, and data.

II. Will My Cell Phone Work in Macau?

Your phone will work in Macau
Your phone will work in Macau

Yes. Tourists are still able to use their cell phones and access the Internet in Maca. Before your flight to Macau, you should confirm several things as follows:

  • Check that your mobile phone has open bands. This allows you to connect to Macau’s networks instead of your domestic operator’s roaming services. Roaming rates are very expensive when traveling overseas.
  • Compare the regular frequencies on your domestic network to those used by Macau carriers. This helps you determine how fast your Internet will be in Macau.

Let us take a closer look at the specific frequencies and bands used by Macau operators.

Network Carrier2G Bands3G Bands4G Bands
CTMGSM 900MHz, 1800MHzWCDMA 2100MHzLTE bands 3, 7, 38
SmarToneGSM 900MHz, 1800MHzWCDMA 2100MHzLTE bands 3, 7, 38
Three MacauGSM 900MHz, 1800MHzWCDMA 2100MHzLTE bands 1, 5, 3, 7, 8, 20

III. Do I Need an International Plan in Macau?

Yes. Tourists to Macau need an international plan to connect to Macau’s networks. This is a convenient way to get online while traveling internationally. However, if you use your regular home plan from your domestic carriers, you will have to incur high roaming charges.

You need an international plan for Macau
You need an international plan for Macau

Fortunately, there are many other options to stay connected at reasonable prices, including Macau eSIM, physical SIM card for Macau, pocket Wifi, and so on. In addition, travelers in Macau can also connect to free Wifi to enjoy free Internet. This way sounds convenient but you cannot always rely on it. You cannot always hunt for free Wifi hotspots like coffee shops, hotels, restaurants, etc.

IV. What are International Plan Options to Use Cell Phone in Macau for Tourists?

Now that you know different international package alternatives to use cell phone in Macau. Let us dive into the features, where to buy, and pros and cons of some mobile internet devices of Macau.

1. eSIM Plan for Macau

eSIM for Macau is a smart digital way to get the Internet without a physical SIM while traveling in this region. It has become prevalent among travelers due to its innovative functionalities. It is a digital SIM/ embedded SIM, so it is effortless to sign up, activate, and use it virtually.

Suitable for: eSIM-embedded mobile devices

Where to buy eSIM for Macau: order online from major Macau carriers or trusted eSIM third-party resellers

Pros: no physical SIM, no store visit, easy online purchase and setup, eco-friendly

Cons: mobile devices need to be unlocked and eSIM-compatible

2. International SIM card for Macau

Physical SIM card for Macau
Physical SIM card for Macau

Physical SIM cards may be a more familiar option for you. They work similarly to those you utilize at home. You need to buy a local Macau SIM card and insert the SIM into your phone’s SIM slot.

Suitable for: any unlocked smartphone

Where to purchase SIM card for Macau: online on carrier websites before trip, at the airport kiosk upon arrival, or carrier shops in the cities

Pros: a wide selection of SIM plans, competitive local rates, Macau SIM cards work with any unlocked phone

Cons: risk of SIM loss, have to locate the store locations if you buy offline 

3. Pocket WiFi

Pocket Wifi for Macau
Pocket Wifi for Macau

The pocket Wifi for Macau is a lightweight portable Wifi hotspot that delivers Wifi signals for multiple mobile devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones. 

Suitable for: sharing a data plan among family or group members traveling together

Where to get Pocket WiFi for Macau: electronic shops, rental websites, airport rental kiosks

Pros: Internet sharing, multiple mobile devices can connect to the same pocket Wifi

Cons: device and accessories to carry, have to return them after trip

V. Will My Local Network Work in Macau?

Most likely possible.

Visitors can utilize their regular phone services from home when they are in Macau. However, this is not an optimal option as calling, texting, and using cellular data may cost a lot through roaming charges.

If you do not track every little thing like your data need and your usage habits carefully, you will have to incur shockingly phone bills after your vacation. The roaming fees depend on the terms and conditions of your home provider.

Advice: It is recommended to consider other alternatives such as Macau prepaid physical SIM or an eSIM for the best deals. This will helps you avoid budget worries.

VI. Gigago eSIM – An Alternative to Get Internet in Macau with your Cell Phone

Using an eSIM is the best way to stay online without a regular plastic SIM when you visit Macau. With eSIM, all you need is to download and activate it online before your flight with the eSIM provider’s support. eSIM for Macau also provides a wide selection of plans for you to select from.

Tourists can get an eSIM plan for their Macau trip in 2 ways:

  • Buy it directly from carrier websites. Identification verification is required.
  • Get it from a prestigious third-party eSIM reseller like GIGAGO. No ID proof is needed.

Gigago’s eSIM plans for Macau work on the CTM network – The largest mobile network in Macau with the most extensive coverage and speedy data. Tourists will always get coverage by CTM wherever they travel in Macau.

Gigago offers a wide range of eSIM plans for Macau
Gigago eSIM plans for Macau

These plans start at only $3.50 for 1GB of data over 3 days and vary between $3.50$125.98 , much cheaper than roaming services. Regardless of your length of stay in Macau and the amount of data you need, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

Pro Tips:

  • Confirm that your cell phone works with eSM. 
  • Remember to choose the Macau eSIM plan that best aligns with your preferences and trip duration.

VII. Extra Tips to Use Cell Phone in Macau

These extra handy tips will help you use cell phone in Macau cost-effectively: 

  • Learn some basic phrases in Cantonese or Mandarin Chinese in case you need help from locals.
  • Download any maps and translator apps before your trip so you don’t need data access to use them.
  • Let your home cell service provider know the dates you’ll be traveling in Macau in case they need to enable international roaming.
  • Password protect your phone and only connect to trusted WiFi networks to avoid snooping or theft of information.
  • Carry a portable charger with you since exploring busy areas can drain your battery quickly.
  • Consider cellular data packages or eSIM options from local providers for affordable access.
  •  Note emergency numbers like police and ambulance in case you need assistance.

VIII. FAQs

Can I use my U.S mobile phone in Macau?

As long as your phone supports the correct frequency bands, you can use cell phone in Macau. Check with your carrier about compatibility and options like international plans.

How can I call back to my home country from Macau?

Get a local SIM with a Macau number and dial your country code followed by the number to use cell phone in Macau for international calls.

What are popular cell phone carriers in Macau?

The major carriers are CTM, SmarTone, and Three Macau. Any offer reliable coverage around Macau to use cell phone in Macau.

IX. Final Words

In conclusion, using a cell phone in Macau is straightforward for travelers. Whether you use a Macau eSIM, regular SIM, or pocket Wifi, you can use cell phone in Macau seamlessly during your visit. By choosing the right local SIM option and ensuring your device is compatible, you can easily stay in touch with your loved ones, use apps, and browse the Internet while exploring the many sights of Macau.