Hong Kong raises USD85m from 3.3GHz licensing

6 Nov 2019

Hong Kong’s latest 5G spectrum auction has raised a total of HKD665.1 million (USD84.9 million), with the four incumbent operators all winning frequencies. The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) was offering 100MHz of spectrum in the 3.3GHz band following auctions for 3.5GHz and 4.9GHz licences last month and a 26GHz sale in March. Hutchison 3 and HKT both agreed to pay spectrum utilisation fees (SUFs) of HKD199.5 million for 30MHz blocks, while SmarTone and China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) offered HKD133.0 million for 20MHz packets. The assignment of the spectrum will take effect next month, with a validity period of 15 years.

In the previous auctions, all four firms won 3.5GHz concessions, while only CMHK and HKT bid for 4.9GHz permits. In addition, HKT, CMHK and SmarTone each acquired 400MHz of 26GHz frequencies in March this year; Hutchison 3 declined to take part in the award process, saying that there is sufficient spectrum available for 5G services in the lower bands, while the higher range frequencies are also not suitable for providing indoor coverage.