Hong Kong’s telecoms regulator, the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA), has confirmed that four companies are seeking spectrum in its forthcoming sale of 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum. These are incumbent cellcos HKT, Hutchison Telephone (3), China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) and SmarTone. The watchdog says that its next step in the sale process will be to publish a list of qualified bidders.
The 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum auction is scheduled for next month and is designed to redistribute 200MHz of wireless spectrum which is due to be handed back to the regulator following the expiry of existing licences. The four incumbents will each be offered the right of first refusal (RFR) for 20MHz of frequencies, in order to ensure they can maintain their current services. The remaining 70MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band, together with a 50MHz block of spectrum in the 900MHz band, will be assigned via an auction process.
The government has set the auction reserve price at HKD38 million (USD4.9 million) per MHz. A cap of 90MHz per operator will apply to the combined 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, with a sub-cap of 20MHz per operator in the 900MHz band.