Hong Kong’s Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) has scheduled its 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum auction for December. The sale is designed to redistribute 200MHz of wireless spectrum which is due to be handed back to the regulator following the expiry of existing licences.
Under OFCA’s hybrid approach, the four incumbent operators – China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK), HKT, Hutchison 3 and SmarTone – are each being offered the right of first refusal (RFR) for 20MHz of frequencies, in order to ensure they can maintain their current services. All four companies accepted the RFR proposal earlier this month.
The remaining 70MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band, together with a 50MHz block of spectrum in the 900MHz band, will be assigned via an auction process. The government has set the auction reserve price at HKD38 million (USD4.9 million) per MHz. A cap of 90MHz per operator will apply to the combined 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, with a sub-cap of 20MHz per operator in the 900MHz band.