Hong Kong’s Communications Authority (CA) laid out plans to reassign a total of 110MHz of 4G and 5G spectrum across two bands by holding an auction in 2024.

In a statement, CA explained current assignments of 20MHz of spectrum in the 850MHz to 900MHz band, and 90MHz in the 2.3GHz band are set to expire in May 2026 and March 2027, respectively.

It plans a “market-based approach” for reassignment.

The 20MHz in the 850MHz to 900MHz band will be divided into two paired frequency blocks of 2x5MHz each. A spectrum cap of 10MHz will be imposed.

The 90MHz of 2.3GHz spectrum will be split into nine 10MHz blocks, with a 50MHz spectrum cap.

All blocks have 15-year terms.

CA noted spectrum will be auctioned together in a simultaneous multiple round ascending format. The sale is open to incumbent MNOs and new entrants.

The spectrum utilisation fee (SUF) will be determined by auction, with reserve prices to be specified nearer the time of the auction.

Spectrum assignees will have a choice to pay the SUF upfront or through 15 annual instalments, with 2.5 per cent interest added each year.

Assignees will be required to provide a minimum coverage of 90 per cent of the population within five years.

Details of the reassignment were determined following a public consultation conducted between November 2022 and January 2023.

Hong Kong’s last spectrum action was held in October 2021 and generated HKD1.9 billion ($242 million) from the sale of 255MHz of spectrum across four bands.

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