Telecom & Wireless

Hong Kong's Radio Spectrum Auction For Broadband Wireless Services Concludes

Hong Kong's Office of the Telecommunications Authority announced that the auction of radio spectrum in the 2.3 GHz and 2.5 GHz bands has been completed, with Genius Brand, CSL, and China Mobile as big winners bidding a total of HKD1.5 billion.

The three companies successfully bid for a total of 90 MHz of radio spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band for a total of spectrum utilization fee of HKD1.5 billion dollars. Genius Brand Limited bid for 30 MHz of the 2500-2515 MHz paired with 2620-2635 MHz for a spectrum utilization fee of HKD518 million. CSL Limited bid for 30 MHz of the 2540-2555 MHz paired with 2660-2675 MHz for HKD523 million. Finally, China Mobile Hong Kong Company Limited also gained 30 MHz of the 2555-2570 MHz paired with 2675-2690 MHz for HKD494.7 million.

OFTA started inviting applications for the spectrum on October 3, 2008, and five companies submitted their initial applications by the deadline on December 16, 2008. The spectrum auction then started from January 12, 2009, with Genius Brand, CSL, and China Mobile beating out the other two unnamed companies.

These three successful bidders are now required to pay the upfront spectrum utilization fee, to submit a performance bond of HKD150 million and to comply with other necessary regulatory requirements within 30 business days after the publication of the provisional successful bidder notice.

Interestingly, this was the first time that the spectrum auction was conducted on an Internet-based software platform by the OFTA. With the use of a simultaneous multiple round ascending auction format, all the 12 frequency bands were auctioned simultaneously over multiple rounds. The spectrum utilization fee payable for the use of each frequency band was determined by the highest valid bid for that frequency band in the auction.

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