Hong Kong completed the last of three 5G spectrum auctions, with operators spending a combined HKD665.1 million ($85 million) on 100MHz of 3.3GHz airwaves.
HKT and Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong each paid HKD199.5 million for 30MHz of the mid-band 5G spectrum, while China Mobile Hong Kong and SmarTone forked out HKD133 million apiece on 20MHz.
The Office of the Communications Authority said the successful bidders must pay spectrum utilisation fees and submit performance bonds by 11 December to guarantee compliance with network and service rollout requirements. Spectrum will be assigned that month and be valid for 15 years.
In a statement, HKT said the 3.3GHz band is designed for indoor use and is extremely valuable for supplementing 3.5GHz band spectrum to provide extra capacity in heavily loaded indoor environments such as the underground rail network.
Together with 400MHz of 5G spectrum in the 26GHz and 28GHz bands administratively assigned by the government in March, HKT will have a total of 520MHz of 5G spectrum.
An HKT representative said it appreciates the government’s decision to set more reasonable auction reserve prices, along with other amendments for the 5G spectrum, stating this would boost the development of the industry and benefit mobile users.
HKT and China Mobile Hong Kong were each awarded 40MHz of 5G spectrum in the 4.9GHz band at a reserve price of HKD120 million on 23 October. In mid-October all four operators acquired 200MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum.
The three auctions raised a total of HKD1.91 billion, with market leader HKT and China Mobile Hong Kong each acquiring a total of 120MHz, and SmarTone and Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong 70MHz each.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back