OFCA finalises terms for Q1 2.5GHz-2.6GHz auction

6 Jul 2012

Hong Kong’s telecoms regulator the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) has finalised its previously announced plans for an auction of technology-neutral 2.5GHz-2.6GHz mobile frequency licences in the first quarter of 2013. OFCA has confirmed its terms for an open auction of a spare 50MHz block of spectrum in the broadband wireless band split into five paired blocks of 2×5MHz, with no individual spectrum cap and with no blocks reserved for any particular existing operators or new entrants. In February 2012 the regulator, in its previous form of the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA), announced it was targeting the Q1 2013 auction of radio 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. The previous month it had released a consultation paper on its proposals for releasing the spectrum under 15-year licences, through a competitive auction process due to the competing demands for the resources. In April-May this year, China Mobile Hong Kong, Hutchison (3) and PCCW all joined existing LTE provider CSL in the 4G mobile broadband market using 2600MHz spectrum, while SmarTone is preparing to launch LTE using the 1800MHz band in the fourth quarter.