Macau’s telecoms regulator has awarded 4G licences to the territory’s four incumbent mobile operators — CTM, China Telecom (Macau), Hutchison (3Macau) and SmarTone.

Six companies – including China Mobile Hong Kong and U Hong — submitted bids to the Telecommunications Regulation Bureau (DSRT) in late November for four 4G licences, which have an eight-year term.

The winning bidders are required to cover 50 per cent of the territory when they launch 4G services this year and need to have citywide coverage by the end of 2016. The 4G operators will be required to pay 5 per cent of their gross revenue to the government, which is the same as 3G services.

3Macau said it will invest more than MOP300 million ($36.6 million) to develop its LTE network, which would go live in Q4. CMT and SmarTone also plan to start 4G services in Q4. China Telecom is targeting launch in Q3.

In December the DSRT also renewed the 3G licences of the four incumbents, which will be valid until 2023.