New entrant wins spectrum in Hong Kong’s 2.3GHz auction

Hong Kong’s spectrum auction for licences in the 2.3GHz band successfully concluded on Monday 6 February, after a total of six bidding rounds.

The licences were offered in three blocks of 30MHz, A1, A2 and A3, in the frequency ranges 2300-2330MHz, 2330-2360MHz and 2360-2390MHz, respectively. This comprises the 2.3GHz spectrum that went unassigned in the Hong Kong auction for 2.3GHz and 2.5GHz spectrum in January 2009. The auction followed a Simultaneous Multi-Round Ascending auction format. All three licences were awarded, raising a total of HK$470 million.

The Office of the Telecommunications Authority (“OFTA”) announced that three of the existing mobile network operators and one new entrant participated in the auction. Provisional successful bidders include two of the existing mobile operators and the new entrant:

  • 21 ViaNet Group Limited won the A1 licence at a price of HK$150 million (minimum price);
  • China Mobile Hong Kong Company Limited won the A2 licence at a price of HK$170 million (HK$20 million above minimum price); and
  • Hutchinson Telephone Company Limited won the A3 licence at a price of HK$150 million (minimum price)

Licences are awarded on a 15-year term. Licensees will be required to provide mobile services with a minimum coverage of 50% of Hong Kong’s population, or fixed services with a minimum coverage of 200 commercial and/or residential buildings within five years of the grant of the licences.

The auction was implemented using DotEcon’s WebBidder auction platform. More information on WebBidder can be found here.

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