Four operators clinch 4G spectrum in Hong Kong auction

Four of Hong Kong’s mobile operators have successfully bid for a total of 50MHz of radio spectrum in the 2.5/2.6GHz band, according to the nation’s telecoms regulator the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA).

The total amount raised from the auction was HK$1.54bn ($200m).

The spectrum will enable the successful bidders to further develop 4G services in Hong Kong.

SmarTone bought two 2x5MHz blocks for HK£640m in total, Genius Brand bid HK$290m for its 2×5 MHz block, China Mobile Hong Kong bid HK$300m for one 2×5 spectrum block, and CSL bid HK$310m for one 2x5MHz block. Another unnamed bidder, a new entrant, failed to secure any spectrum, OFCA stated.

The regulator will assign the spectrum to the successful bidders for fifteen years. It said that the average spectrum price raised, of HK$30.8m per MHz, is about 80 per cent higher than that obtained in the auction of the same frequency band held in January 2009.

“This reflects the increasing value of radio spectrum as a scarce public resource, which is the major driving force behind the continual growth of our mobile broadband services,” said an OFCA spokesperson.

“While all the provisional successful bidders in this spectrum auction are existing mobile network operators, the fact that a new entrant has participated in the spectrum auction demonstrates that even though the mobile telecommunications market in Hong Kong is extremely competitive, it continues to attract new investments.”

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