Two firms withdraw from Hong Kong 4.9GHz sale

17 Oct 2019

Hong Kong’s auction of 5G-capable spectrum in the 4.9GHz (4.84GHz-4.92GHz) band has attracted just two bidders. The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) says that all four incumbents submitted initial applications, but Hutchison 3 and SmarTone have withdrawn since winning 3.5GHz licences earlier this week. That leaves China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) and HKT in the running for the 4.9GHz frequencies, adding to the 3.5GHz spectrum that they too won this week.

Mainland China is also using the 4.9GHz waveband, with CMHK’s parent company China Mobile having already been issued with spectrum in that range. CMHK is obviously keen to win similar frequencies in Hong Kong to allow for roaming, which is an important part of the business for Hong Kong cellcos.