Hong Kong fixed and mobile operator Hutchison Telecom, which operates in the wireless market under the ‘3’ brand, says it is working with Huawei of China to prepare for future 5G services. The telco plans to upgrade its network capacity and coverage ahead of the government’s sale of additional wireless spectrum. Telecoms regulator the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) recently opened a public consultation to discuss its plans to auction spectrum in the 3.4GHz-3.7GHz and 26GHz-28GHz bands for 5G services.
Under the agreement with Huawei, Hutchison will adopt five component carrier aggregation (5CC CA) using its existing spectrum holdings in the 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz and 2600MHz bands and employing both frequency and time division duplex (FDD and TDD) technologies. As part of this process, 3 is working to migrate its existing 2100MHz spectrum from 3G to 4G services. According to a report from Telecom Asia, Huawei will also upgrade the network to support 4×4 multiple-input, multiple-output (4×4 MIMO) and 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) technology, to enable 3 Hong Kong to provide customers with data download speeds of over 1.2Gbps.
Hutchison says its capital expenditure in 2017 is expected to total between HKD500 million and HKD600 million (USD65 million-USD77 million); the firm spent HKD509 million in 2016.