5G tempts house-bound workers and students

Business | Avery Chen 2 Apr 2020

Hong Kong's major telecom operators launched 5G services yesterday, offering monthly tariff plans as low as HK$198 and providing solutions to boost work-from-home and study-at-home efficiency.

HKT (6823) and China Mobile Hong Kong, which have acquired most of the 5G spectrum, rolled out their 5G networks at the stroke of midnight on March 31.

3 Hong Kong, the mobile arm of Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong (0215), saw more than a thousand users upgrade to 5G, said Kenny Koo Sing-fai, executive director and chief executive of HTHKH. The operator is offering 5G monthly tariff plans starting HK$388 for a minimum data entitlement of 100GB. That compared with HKT's packages of HK$198 per month for 8GB and CMHK's 30GB trial package with a monthly fee of HK$198.

Koo did not rule out the possibility of lowering 5G tariffs and adjusting prices subject to market conditions but did not expect the current promotions to trigger a price war.

3 Hong Kong also offers 5G plans to corporate clients with monthly tariffs as low as HK$468 for unlimited 5G mobile data with 5G business mobile broadband plans via Huawei Technologies' 5G customer-premises equipment. Its corporate solutions covers smart office, smart building, smart retail and smart logistics.

It is also providing some corporate clients three-month free accounts of Microsoft Teams and some needy students accounts of video conferencing platform Zoom for free. Zoom has become the most popular video conferencing platform due to the pandemic, but the US Federal Bureau of Investigation warned on Monday that some hackers have been hijacking online conferences and classrooms.

Meanwhile, SmarTone Telecommunications (0315) and HKBN (1310) have entered into a collaboration agreement to use HKBN's next-generation all-fibre backhaul for SmarTone's 5G network.

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