SmarTone will spend 180 million patacas ($22.6 million) on its new 3G network in Macau.
The DSRT, the Macau regulator, yesterday awarded the Hong Kong-owned company the fourth 3G license in the territory.
SmarTone was the only bidder for the license. Rival 2G network providers China Telecom (Macau), Hutchison and incumbent CMT were all grant eight-year licenses in June 2007.
SmarTone Macau said it would invest over the next four years to build an advanced 3G network.
“The 3G license will enable us to introduce more effective competition in the Macau market by offering unique 3G multimedia services which are more compelling than those currently available,” said SmarTone CEO Douglas Li.
He also welcomed DSRT’s move to start liberalizing the local and international leased-line market in 2010.
Macau, with a population of 560,000, already has 993,545 mobile users, or a mobile ownership rate of 177%. Of those, 440,000 are 3G customers, according to the DSRT.