OFTA, Hong Kong’s telecom regulator, has announced five qualified bidders for BWA licences at 2.3GHz and 2.5GHz, which are both standardised WiMAX frequency bands. These are China Mobile Hong Kong Company Limited; CSL Limited; Genius Brand Limited; Hong Kong Broadband Network Limited; and SmarTone Wireless Limited.

There is strong representation of Hong Kong’s cellular operators among the qualified BWA bidders: China Mobile Hong Kong runs the ‘Peoples’ mobile brand service on the island, while CSL represents CSL Mobility, another Hong Kong mobile operator. Genius Brand, meanwhile, is a joint venture comprising PCCW, a fixed-line operator, and mobile player Hutchison. SmarTone Wireless Limited is a subsidiary of SmarTone, yet another Hong Kong mobile operator.

A total of 195MHz of spectrum is up for grabs – 90MHz in the 2.3GHz band and 105MHz at 2.5GHz. The BWA licences allow for mobile and fixed services, including voice and data.

The auctions are scheduled to start on 12 January.