Hong Kong’s government raised HKD6 billion ($767 million) from the sale of 120MHz of spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, with market leader HKT the top spender, picking up 20MHz in each band.
The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) said the territory’s four operators acquired a total 50MHz of spectrum in the 900MHz band and 70MHz in the 1800MHz band.
HKT spent HKD2.22 billion for 40MHz in the two bands; China Mobile Hong Kong acquired 30MHz for HKD1.48 billion; SmarTone also picked up 30MHz in both bands for HKD1.34 billion; and 3 Hong Kong purchased 20MHz for HKD960 million.
The new licences have 15-year terms which start after the expiry of the existing assignments between November 2020 and September 2021.
OFCA said in a statement each winner is required to submit a letter of credit by 20 March 2019 to guarantee payment of the spectrum utilisation fee before the actual re-assignment of the spectrum takes effect.
In September the regulator reassigned 80MHz of 1800MHz spectrum, with each of the four mobile operators receiving a 20MHz block.
“Some of the spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands will change hands in the new assignment term. The incumbent spectrum assignees will have a transitional period of about two years to reconfigure their existing networks and/or roll out additional network infrastructure. OFCA will coordinate with them to ensure a smooth changeover during the run up to the commencement of the new assignment term,” an OFCA representative said.
Last week the Communications Authority announced it will assign the first batch of 5G spectrum in the 26GHz and 28GHz bands for use across the territory by Q2 and also plans to auction off 380MHz of 3.3GHz, 3.5GHz and 4.9GHz spectrum in mid-2019.Subscribe to our daily newsletter