Four operators win 5G spectrum

Business | Tereza Cai 15 Oct 2019

A total of 200 MHz of the 5G spectrum was auctioned off to four mobile network operators - China Mobile Hong Kong under China Mobile (0941), Hong Kong Telecommunications (6823), Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings (0215) and SmarTone Telecommunications (0315) for a total of HK$1.006 billion, the Office of the Communications Authority said.

China Mobile Hong Kong bid HK$300 million, or HK$5 million per MHz, for the 60 MHz bandwidth in the 3.5GHz frequency band - the most among the four.

HKT and SmarTone each won 50 GHz bandwidth for HK$252 million each, or HK$5.04 million per MHz, while HTHKH obtained 40 MHz bandwidth for HK$202 million, or HK$5.05 million per MHz.

Following today's auction, HKT, the parent of CSL, Hong Kong's first mobile communications operator, continues to hold the largest amount of mobile radio spectrum in Hong Kong.

While China Mobile is the world's largest mobile network operator by number of subscribers, of which China Mobile Hong Kong contributes a small proportion.

The government in July announced a total of three 5G spectrum auctions with a total bandwith of 380 MHz. The remaining two will be tendered later this month and next month.

The assignment of the spectrum will take effect on 1 April 2020 and run for a period of 15 years, said the OFCA. SmarTone says it will launch 5G services soon after the spectrum becomes available, and HKT says it looks forward to offering 5G services in the second quarter of 2020.

Shares of China Mobile fell 0.3 percent, while HKT fell 0.48 percent. Hutchison Telecommunications HK rose 1.4 percent to HK$1.38, and SmarTone rose 0.4 percent to HK$6.76.

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