Hong Kong’s Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) has officially invited interested parties to take part in the auctions of 5G spectrum in the 3.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 4.9 GHz bands.
The Communications Authority (CA) had announced in December 2018 its decision to auction a total of 380 megahertz of 5G spectrum: 100 MHz of spectrum in the 3.3 GHz band, 200 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band and 80 MHz of spectrum in the 4.9 GHz band, for the provision of 5G services in Hong Kong.
“The CA will hold auctions of the three frequency bands in succession, starting with the 3.5 GHz band auction to be held on 14 October 2019, followed by the 4.9 GHz band auction and then the 3.3 GHz band auction. Parties interested in acquiring the 5G spectrum may have about two months to prepare their applications and submit them to OFCA on 12 and 13 September 2019,” a spokesperson for OFCA said.
“The Government has set the auction reserve prices for the use of spectrum in the 3.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 4.9 GHz bands at HK$2 million ($256,000) per MHz, HK$4 million ($512,000) per MHz and HK$3 million ($384,000) per MHz respectively. The actual amount of spectrum utilization fees payable will be determined in the respective auctions,” the spokesperson said.
“To avoid an unduly high concentration of spectrum being held in the hands of a single spectrum assignee, a spectrum cap of 70 MHz will be imposed on any assignee in the 3.5 GHz band auction, and a spectrum cap of 40 MHz will be imposed on any assignee in each of the 3.3 GHz band and 4.9 GHz band auctions,” the spokesperson added.
Hong Kong is currently home to four mobile network operators: HKT, 3 Hong Kong, China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) and SmarTone.
Last year, 3 Hong Kong completed 5G outdoor network trials in the 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz spectrum bands. The carrier said the 5G test was conducted at a trial cell site in Causeway Bay.
3 Hong Kong obtained an indoor 5G test permit from the Hong Kong government for the 3.5 GHz band in August 2017 and completed a number of initial trials by the end of that year. In May 2018, the telco secured a temporary permit to conduct 5G trials in the 26 GHz and 28 GHz millimeter wave bands.
3 Hong Kong also secured a permit for outdoor and indoor trials in the 3.5 GHz band in June last year, and the company achieved 2 Gbps network speeds during an earlier trial using 100 megahertz of spectrum in that band.
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