According to the latest statistical information revealed by Hong Kong's Office of the Telecommunications Authority at its year-end briefing, most wireless communication services, including mobile, short messaging and public Wi-Fi services, have shown a remarkable growth during the year.

There was a significant increase in the volume of short messages that Hong Kong people sent and received during the year. The volume of short messages that Hong Kong people sent during the period December 2006 to November 2007 amounted to 3.28 billion, a record high since OFTA started collecting the figures in 2002, translating into an increase of 26% as compared to the same period in 2005 and 2006.

"Mobile services have continued to demonstrate a steady and healthy growth, irrespective of the highly competitive mobile market environment. In October 2007, the number of mobile subscribers, including registered post-paid customers and pre-paid customers, exceeded a new mark of over 10 million for the first time. The number continued to surge to another record high of 10.6 million in November 2007, representing a penetration rate of 152%. This is one of the highest penetration rates in the world, well exceeding many advanced economies, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and Korea," the Director-General of Telecommunications, Marion Lai Chan Chi-kuen, remarked at the year-end briefing.

Looking ahead at OFTA's work in 2008, Lai said there will be a number of important regulatory initiatives, including the creation of a Unified Carrier Licence as the common licensing vehicle for the development of fixed-mobile convergence, the auctioning and licensing of spectrum for the deployment of key wireless technologies like BWA, as well as implementation of CDMA 2000 services and the spectrum policy framework.

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