HK watchdog consults on 900/1800MHz spectrum

8 Feb 2016

Hong Kong’s Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) has launched a public consultation into the future of spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands which is currently assigned to the four incumbent operators until 2020/21. The regulator is proposing three approaches to the reassignment of the frequencies: to give the existing licensees the right of first refusal; to revoke the licences once they expire and hold an auction for all 200MHz of available spectrum; or to reserve one-fifth (40MHz) for existing assignees and to auction the remainder. OFCA says it expects 2G networks to still be active after 2021 so it is keen to see at least some of the territory’s existing GSM networks maintained, though under technology neutral guidelines, some of the 900MHz and 1800MHz frequencies have already been transferred to 3G or 4G use. A final decision on the future of the spectrum is expected to be made by November 2017.