Hong Kong operators apply for 26-GHz, 28-GHz spectrum

25 Feb 2019

China Mobile Hong Kong, HKT and SmarTone have all applied to be assigned 5G spectrum in the 26-GHz and 28-GHz bands.

The three operators have submitted applications for regulator Ofca's planned administrative assignment of spectrum in the two bands.

Ofca plans to assign a total of 3,700MHz of spectrum in the frequency range for the provision of large scale public mobile services across the territory.

Notably absent from the list of applicants is 3 Hong Kong, which announced in a statement that it plans to abstain from the allocation following an in-depth study.

The main reasons for the decision include the fact that the 26-GHz and 28-GHz bands are known to be unsuitable for penetrating buildings and are not commonly used 5G bands, as well as the availability of multiple other options for the provision of 5G services including the 3.3-GHz, 3.5-GHz and 4.9-GHz spectrum due to be allocated later this year.

Another major factor behind the decision is Ofca's requirement that operators establish thousands of radio units compatible with the spectrum within five years of the assignment. The operator decided it would be a challenge to meet these obligations.

If a suitable number of 26-GHz and 28-GHz compatible 5G devices are released to market by the time Ofca initiates the second round of allocation of spectrum in the bands in two years time, 3 Hong Kong will reconsider its approach, the company said.

First published in Computerworld Hong Kong

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