Major mobile operators in Hong Kong acquired 200MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum in the first of three 5G auctions in the territory, raising a total of HKD1.006 billion ($128 million), figures from the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) showed.
China Mobile Hong Kong splashed out HKD300 million for 60MHz, HKT and SmarTone each spent HKD252 million on 50MHz, while Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong paid HKD202 million for 40MHz.
OFCA said the successful bidders are required to pay spectrum utilisation fees and submit performance bonds by 14 January 2020, to guarantee compliance with the network and service rollout requirement. The assignment of the spectrum will take effect on 1 April 2020 and be valid for 15 years.
In a statement, HKT welcomed the government’s decision to set modest reserve prices for the auction to boost the development of 5G in Hong Kong: “We are pleased that, as a result of rational biddings, HKT is able to obtain 50MHz of contiguous spectrum at a price that is beneficial to the industry as well as the mobile users”.
The market leader said it will offer 5G services in Q2 2020 “when the necessary ecosystem is in place”, while fourth-ranked SmarTone said it will launch services soon after the 3.5GHz frequency band is made available.
With the 3.5GHz band sale complete, the next steps will be auctions covering the 4.9GHz and 3.3GHz bands, with the reserve price per MHz set at HKD3 million and HKD2 million respectively.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back