China Telecom, the third largest operator in the mainland, plans to launch 4G service as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in Hong Kong in April under the CTExcel brand, reported.

The operator, with 215 million mobile connections in China, received an MVNO licence from Hong Kong’s Communications Authority last year. It also operates MVNO services under the CTExcel brand in Australia, the UK and US.

It plans to hold a news conference on Thursday to announce the new service.

Rival China Unicom also operates as an MVNO in Hong Kong, while market leader China Mobile is one of four mobile network operators in the territory and holds a 24 per cent market share.

ISP Hong Kong Broadband Network launched an MVNO service in September using SmarTone’s network.

According to GSMA Intelligence, Hong Kong has 12.5 million mobile connections and a SIM penetration rate of 171 per cent.