HKT warns Hong Kong regulator over spectrum

By:
James Pearce
Published on:

HKT claims rising costs and unavailability of spectrum risks turning the territory into a "third class" player in mobile

HKT has hit out at spectrum policy in a letter warning the Hong Kong regulator it risks turning the territory into a “third class” player in mobile development.

The operator, part of PCCW, said it was “very concerned” that the government is not doing enough to release more spectrum, warning other countries are “way ahead” in terms of spectrum supply.

It also criticised price increases that operators in Hong Kong had faced over recent years, which had ultimately been passed on to mobile users, according to the South China Morning Post.

“Hong Kong spectrum prices are now the most expensive in the world,” it said. “Why does the government need to do this when it already has huge budget surpluses?”

The letter comes less than a year after the government, through regulator the Office of the Communications Authority, held a public consultation around the issue of spectrum, with one of the topics discussed potential price rises for bandwidth.

Current assignments on the 900MHz and 1.8GHz bands are due to expire in 2021, impacting around 40% of the total amount of spectrum currently in use in Hong Kong. A decision over prices is expected to be made by November 2017.