Hong Kong’s Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) has invited interested parties to participate in the auction of 90MHz of radio spectrum in the 2.3GHz band for the provision of broadband wireless access (BWA) services. The frequencies (2300MHz-2390MHz) are divided into three 30MHz blocks, and both new entrants and incumbent operators may participate in the auction, with a 30MHz individual spectrum cap. The reserve bid price is set at HKD150 million (USD19.3 million) for each of the frequency bands, which will be assigned to the successful bidders under 15-year unified carrier licences. Winners will be required to provide mobile service coverage to a minimum of 50% of the Hong Kong population, or fixed services coverage to at least 200 commercial and/or residential buildings within five years from the licence grant. OFTA will accept bidding applications on 9 and 10 January 2012, ahead of an auction scheduled for early February.
OFTA’s statistics indicate that mobile data usage in Hong Kong registered a monthly total of 3,175TB, or an average of 426MB per 2.5G/3G mobile user, in July 2011. This represents 1.6 times and 7.3 times the mobile data usage in the same period in 2010 and 2009 respectively.