China Mobile wins Hong Kong UHF mobile TV broadcast licence

1 Jul 2010

Hong Kong’s Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) has concluded an auction of radio spectrum in the UHF band for the provision of broadcast mobile television services, announcing that cellular operator China Mobile Hong Kong won the 678MHz–686MHz frequencies in return for a spectrum utilisation fee (SUF) of HKD175 million (USD22.5 million). A spokesperson for the regulator said, ‘This will enhance the development of the mobile market in Hong Kong, give consumers the choice to a wider range of high quality TV programmes that are available in real time through mobile devices, and strengthen Hong Kong’s status as a world class wireless city.’ China Mobile, after payment of the SUF and submission of a performance bond, will be assigned the spectrum under a 15-year unified carrier licence to be issued in July-August 2010. The licensee will be required to use at least 75% of the transmission capacity to deliver mobile TV content, and to provide service coverage to at least 50% of the population within 18 months from being granted the concession. Hong Kong-based full-service telecoms provider PCCW (HKT) pulled out of the mobile TV auction after the first day’s bidding as it considered the price too high. PCCW said it will continue to develop other options for mobile TV solutions utilising its available spectrum. The other unsuccessful bidder was fibre-based broadband and fixed line services provider City Telecom (Hong Kong Broadband Network).