OFTA consults on spare LTE spectrum auction

3 Jan 2012

Hong Kong’s Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) has issued a consultation paper on its proposals for releasing a total of 50MHz of paired spectrum in the 2500MHz–2690MHz band, including 15MHz left over from a 2009 wireless broadband licence auction via which four mobile operators obtained frequencies for Long Term Evolution (LTE) services. OFTA believes that there will be competing demands for the bandwidth and therefore proposes an auction process, and to divide the available spectrum into five frequency bands, each with a bandwidth of 2×5MHz, on a technology-neutral basis, with no spectrum cap, under 15-year licences. The regulator proposes to require each successful bidder to roll out its network with a minimum coverage of 50% of the population as regards mobile services, or, alternatively a minimum coverage of 200 commercial and/or residential buildings if launching fixed services, within five years from the issue of the licence. Comments on the consultation paper are invited until 29 February 2012.