Hong Kong operators secured 700MHz frequency at spectrum auction last year
Hong Kong’s mobile operators are ready to gradually activate their mobile base stations in the 700 MHz band to provide 5G services, the Office of Communications Authority of Hong Kong (OFCA) said in a statement.
“In support of telecommunications and smart city development in Hong Kong, the 700 MHz band spectrum for television broadcasting has been redistributed for the provision of mobile telecommunication services. Will activate gradually, ”OFCA said.
In October 2021, the Hong Kong government announced 255 MHz of spectrum in 19 frequency blocks following a spectrum auction that required a total of 32 rounds of bidding in three days. In this spectrum, the local government has secured a total of 1.87 billion HKD (currently $ 238.3 million) spectrum usage fees.
Through this spectrum auction, OFCA has provided blocks of spectrum in the bands of 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 850 MHz, 2.5 / 2.6 GHz and 4.9 GHz.
China Mobile Hong Kong has licensed spectrum in three bands, offering a total of HKD648.5 million for the 700 MHz, 2.5 GHz to 2.6 GHz and 4.9 GHz bands for the 10 MHz, 15 MHz and 40 MHz bands, OFCA said.
Meanwhile, rival carriers have spent a total of HKD599 million to achieve 10 MHz in the HKT 700 MHz band and 25 MHz in the 2.5 GHz to 2.6 GHz spectrum, OFCA added.
SmarTone has secured 5 MHz of 700 MHz for HKD72 million, 7.5 MHz of 850 MHz for HKD82.5 million and 40 MHz of 4.9 GHz spectrum for HKD222.5 million.
Also, Hutchison Telephone has spent a total of HKD252 million to achieve 10 MHz of 700 MHz and 2.5 GHz to 2.6 GHz spectrum 5 MHz.
The local government had earlier said that Hong Kong mobile operators would have to reach 90% of the minimum population coverage within five years for allocating frequencies from 700 MHz, 850 MHz and 2.5 GHz to 2.6 GHz. The service requirement of the 4.9 GHz band is 50% of the population coverage with five years, requiring the installation of at least 100 indoor base stations in the 600 MHz band over the same period.
China Mobile Hong Kong, Hutchinson and HKT launched commercial 5G services in Hong Kong in April 2020, while SmarTone, in May 2020, announced the launch of commercial 5G services in the region using Ericsson’s Dynamic Spectrum Technology (DSS).
Local operators acquired 200 MHz of 3.5 GHz spectrum in mid-October 2019. These 5G licenses will be valid for a period of 15 years.