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Reassignment arrangements of spectrum in 850/900 MHz and 2.3 GHz bands and related spectrum utilisation fee
     The Communications Authority (CA) announced today (May 2) its decision to reassign 20 MHz of spectrum in the 850/900 MHz bands and 90 MHz of spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band by way of auction upon the expiry of their existing assignments. The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (SCED) also announced his decision on the method for determining the related spectrum utilisation fee (SUF).
     The existing assignments of the relevant spectrum in the 850/900 MHz and 2.3 GHz bands are due to expire on May 31, 2026, and March 29, 2027, respectively. In arriving at the decisions about the reassignment arrangements and the related SUF, the CA and the SCED have considered thoroughly the views and comments received in the public consultation conducted between November 2022 and January 2023.
     "The superb radio propagation characteristics of the spectrum in the 850/900 MHz bands are conducive to operators' provision of wide network coverage in a cost-effective manner, while the spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band has good radio propagation characteristics for providing good network coverage and wider bandwidth capable of supporting higher transmission capacity," a spokesman for the CA said.
     Prospective spectrum assignees are expected to make use of the spectrum to provide mobile services adopting the fourth or the fifth generation (4G or 5G) or other emerging advanced technologies in meeting the demand for innovative mobile communications and applications in the new term of 15 years commencing from June 1, 2026 (for spectrum in the 850/900 MHz bands), and March 30, 2027 (for spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band).
     Subject to the completion of amendments to the relevant subsidiary legislation, the CA targets to conduct the auction in 2024.
     On the SUF relating to the above reassignment exercise, the SCED decided to prescribe that it will be determined by auction, with the auction reserve price to be specified nearer the time of the auction after taking into account all relevant factors.
     "To provide greater financial flexibility to spectrum assignees, the assignees will be given a choice to pay the SUF either by lump sum payment upfront or by annual instalments in the reassignment period of 15 years," a spokesman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said.
     For details of the arrangements for spectrum reassignment and the related SUF, please refer to the joint statement published by the CA and the SCED today, which is available at www.coms-auth.hk/filemanager/statement/en/upload/621/joint_statement_20230502.pdf and www.cedb.gov.hk/assets/resources/cedb/consultations-and-publications/joint_statement_850_900_MHz_2.3_GHz_2023en.pdf.
Ends/Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Issued at HKT 16:30
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