The Macau government has declared that the four telcos granted 4G licenses must provide the service to at least half of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) within this year.
According to the government announcement, all the licenses are now in effect, and the four companies must begin 4G service this year. The 4G licenses will last for eight years and are renewable.
The four companies are CTM, Hutchison Telecom, China Telecom (Macau) and SmarTone (Macau).
CTM is Macau’s largest and most established telco, while Hutchison and SmarTone are Hong Kong-based companies, and China Telecom (Macau) is a mainland-based operator.
Among the government's regulatory terms: the four license holders will be held liable for any losses and damages caused by service interruptions not due to an “unavoidable situation” such as adverse weather. License-holders must also submit their rates and other commercial conditions to the government for approval.
Each operator must pay a 4G license issuance fee of 100,000 MOP ($12,500) and 5% of their annual gross revenues.
According to previous media reports, CTM plans to invest 260 million MOP ($32.5 million) in its 4G project in the first year. The operator said earlier this year it expected its 4G network to cover 95% of Macau by the end of this year. CTM expects its total 4G investment to amount to 485 million MOP ($60.6 million) until 2018
China Telecom has said it plans to invest 126 million MOP ($15.8 million) in its 4G network in the first year. It expects total 4G investment to reach 345 million MOP ($43.1 million) between next year and 2018.
SmarTone has said it plans to invest 25 million MOP($3.1 million) this year. Investment in its 4G network until next year is planned to amount to 60 million MOP ($7.5 million).
Hutchison has said it expects an overall 4G investment of 239 million MOP ($29.9 million) until 2018.
This story originally appeared in The Macau Post Daily