China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) launched an exchange platform allowing 4G users to buy and sell mobile data from each other.
Dubbed 2cm, it enables the operator’s 4G Pro Service Plan customers to set prices as well as make trades.
If customers (buyers) expect data usage will exceed their designated monthly limit, they can buy extra data from other 4G Pro Service Plan customers.
Conversely, other 4G Pro Service Plan users can sell data they’re not planning to use via the 2cm platform to other 4G Pro subscribers.
CMHK said data can be traded in 1GB units and each customer can set their own price per unit, between HKD15 ($2.00) and HKD60.
Given CMHK will charge data sellers an administration fee of HKD15 for each gigabyte of data (deducted from bills the following month), it’s likely prices will rise towards the higher end of the range.
However, as a way to promote the exchange, CMHK is waiving the administration fee until 31 March 2014.
Revenue received from selling extra data gets deducted from the following monthly bill payment (as well as fees incurred from additional local data usage). The 2cm platform also allows users to check data transaction status.
Moreover, CMHK says the platform automatically matches 4G data sellers and buyers.
Extra data bought from other 4G Pro users can only be used during the same billing month.
Coinciding with the 2cm announcement, CMHK said it was “well-positioned” to become Hong Kong’s only mobile operator to operate a “dual mode, tri-band” 4G network.
Last year, CMHK launched a converged TD-LTE and LTE FDD network in Hong Kong using 2.3GHz spectrum.
This year it has been upgrading its 1.8MHz assets for LTE to provide wider network coverage.
CMHK is also deploying LTE at 2.6GHz for infrastructure expansion projects on the territory’s MTR (mass transit railway). CMHK said a faster and more reliable 4G LTE network from Hong Kong to Kowloon station is expected to be available by mid-February 2014.
LTE coverage is to be extended to other MTR stations later in the year, according to the operator.
CMHK and parent company China Mobile also launched a new commercial brand called “and!”
As well as referring to “connection and communication”, CMHK pointed out that “and!” is the acronym of A New Dream – a new brand slogan of both CMHK and its parent company.