The Hong Kong telecom regulator said it aims to award frequencies in the 600 MHz and 700 MHz bands in 2021
Hong Kong’s Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) released a spectrum roadmap for the next three years, through which the agency aims to award key frequencies for the provision of 5G services.
In addition to previously announced plans to assign nearly 4,500 megahertz of 5G spectrum across five frequency ranges during 2019, the agency said it will allocate 160MHz of spectrum in the 600MHz and 700MHz bands from July 2021.
OFCA also said it aims hold a consultation this year, but highlighted the target date and timing of the earliest release and assignment are subject to progress in switching off analogue television broadcasting services. The outcome of frequency coordination with China on the use of the two bands to avoid radio interference across the border is another factor, the agency said.
In December, OFCA had unveiled its initial plans for the allocation of 5G spectrum for Hong Kong carriers.
Beginning in April 2019, the regulator plans to offer a total of 4,500 megahertz, including 100 MHz in the 3.3 GHz band, 200 MHz at 3.5 GHz and 80 MHz at 4.9GHz, plus 4,100 MHz across the 26 GHz band.
Due to the ample supply of spectrum in the 26 GHz and 28 GHz frequency bands, it will be assigned administratively. Through this process, a total of 3,700MHz of spectrum will be assigned for the provision of large scale public mobile services across the territory, the regulator said.
Also, a total of 400 MHz of spectrum will be set aside for the provision of 5G services to specific groups of users on a geographically shared basis, OFCA added.
The regulator also said that spectrum in the 3.5 GHz, 3.3 GHz and 4.9 GHz bands will be awarded via an auction process. The regulator said that it aims to conduct three separate auctions for these frequency bands starting from July or August 2019.
The 3.5 GHz band will be used by both the existing satellite services and the new mobile services, according to the OFCA, which added that it has been coordinating with the relevant network operators to enable controlled deployment of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band within the restriction zone where the Tai Po satellite earth stations are located.
Hong Kong is currently home to four mobile network operators: HKT, 3 Hong Kong, China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) and SmarTone.