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Auction of radio spectrum for public mobile telecommunications services successfully concluded

     The Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) announced today (March 3) that two operators have successfully bid for a total of 20 MHz of radio spectrum in the 850 MHz and 900 MHz Bands respectively, at a total sum of spectrum utilisation fees (SUF) of HK$1.952 billion.

     "The mobile telecommunications service market has continued to boom in recent years.  For example, total mobile data usage has witnessed an explosive growth with a year-on-year increase of 189%, from 638 terabytes in December 2009 to 1,847 terabytes in December 2010.  The assignment of the radio spectrum through the auction enables successful bidders to make use of the newly acquired spectrum to expand their existing networks with additional network capacity to meet the market demand.  This is conducive to the further healthy development of the mobile market in Hong Kong," a spokesman for OFTA said.

     Five mobile network operators and one fixed network operator took part in the spectrum auction.  Conducted on an Internet-based software platform, the auction commenced on February 28 and was completed this afternoon after a total of 41 bidding rounds over four days.  The provisional successful bidders, the radio spectrum bid and the SUF determined in the auction are tabulated below:

Provisional Successful  Radio Spectrum  SUF Payable
Bidders                 Bid             (HK$ billion)
----------------------  --------------  -------------

SmarTone Mobile         Frequency        0.875
Communications Limited  Band A  
                        MHz paired with
                        877.5-882.5 MHz)

Hutchison Telephone     Frequency        1.077
Company Limited         Band B
                        (885-890 MHz
                        paired with
                        930-935 MHz)

Total                   20 MHz           1.952

      "The Telecommunications Authority issued a provisional successful bidder notice today.  Each of the provisional successful bidders, after payment of the SUF and submission of the performance bond within 30 business days after the issue of the notice, will be assigned the acquired spectrum under a 15-year unified carrier licence.  The licensees will be required to provide coverage of their networks and services for areas with at least 50% of the population of Hong Kong for each of the Frequency Bands assigned to them within five years from the grant of the licences," the spokesman added.

Ends/Thursday, March 3, 2011
Issued at HKT 19:20


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