Ofta grants three year reprive to 2G operations

30 Nov 2004

According to telecomasia.net, the Hong Kong telecoms regulator Ofta has ruled that Hutchison and Hong Kong CSL can continue to operate their CDMA and TDMA 2G networks for a further three years, backing down on original plans to revoke both licences and use the spectrum to award a new third generation licence. Strong opposition from Hong Kong’s mobile industry is reported to have convinced Ofta to change its mind, and allow the pair to retain up to a third of their original spectrum allocation until 2008. At that date, however, both must migrate customers onto alternative networks. The remaining nine 2G licences – held by six companies – have been renewed for a 15-year term, taking some to 2021, although the licensees will have to pay new fees based on spectrum utilisation after a five year transition period. The fee will amount to 5% of network turnover or a minimum of HKD24 million, whichever is lower.

Hong Kong, Hutchison Telephone Company (3)