The Office of the Communications Authority of Hong Kong (OFCA) officially invited interested parties to join the auction of radio spectrum in the 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 850 MHz, 2.5/2.6 GHz and 4.9 GHz bands.
The Communications Authority (CA) had announced on March 30th that it had decided to assign a total of 325 megahertz of spectrum, including 220 megahertz of new spectrum in the 600 MHz, 700 MHz and 4.9 GHz bands, and 105 megahertz of re-assigned spectrum in the 850 MHz and 2.5/2.6 GHz bands, via a single auction.
Would-be auction participants can submit applications on September 23 and 24, and the auction will be held October 25. Licenses will be valid for the provision of public mobile services for a period of 15 years. The Hong Kong government noted that the release of the spectrum is expected to support further development of 5G services in terms of speed, capacity and coverage.
“The government has set the auction reserve prices for the use of spectrum in the 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 850 MHz, 2.5/2.6 GHz and 4.9 GHz bands at HK$2 million ($257,100) per MHz, HK$5 million per MHz, HK$4 million per MHz, HK$5 million per MHz and HK$3 million per MHz respectively. The actual amount of spectrum utilization fees payable will be determined in the auction,” a government spokesperson said.
“To avoid an unduly high concentration of spectrum being held in the hands of a single spectrum assignee, spectrum caps will be imposed on the amount of spectrum in individual frequency bands which may be acquired by any assignee, namely 30 megahertz for the 600 MHz band, 30 megahertz for the 700 MHz band, 50 megahertz for the 2.5/2.6 GHz band and megahertz MHz for the 4.9 GHz band,” the spokesperson continued.
Hong Kong’s Communications Authority (CA) had previously said that local mobile operators will be required to reach a minimum population coverage of 90% within five years for the 700 MHz, 850 MHz and 2.5 GHz to 2.6 GHz frequencies allocations. The service obligation for the 4.9 GHz band is 50% population coverage with five years, with a requirement for the deployment of at least 100 indoor base stations in the 600 MHz band over the same time period.
China Mobile Hong Kong, Hutchinson and HKT had launched commercial 5G services in Hong Kong in April 2020, while SmarTone, announced the launch of commercial 5G services in the territory using Ericsson’s Dynamic Spectrum Technology (DSS) in May last year.
Local operators had acquired 200 megahertz of 3.5 GHz spectrum in mid-October 2019. These 5G licenses will be valid for a 15-year period.