Communications Authority Press Release (January)

This press release summarises the Communications Authority ("CA")'s decisions following its 71st meeting held in January 2018:

CA Consults the Public and Industry on the Proposed Use of the 5 GHz Shared Band for the Provision of Public Mobile Services

The CA launched today (1 February 2018) a public consultation on the proposed use of the 5 GHz shared band for the provision of public mobile services.  The consultation will last for four weeks until 1 March 2018.

By way of background, there is at present a total amount of 580 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band ("5 GHz Shared Band") that is used on a shared basis for the provision of public wireless local area network services (such as public Wi-Fi services) and for private use by licence-exempted apparatus and devices fulfilling the relevant technical criteria (including Wi-Fi enabled devices).  New mobile technologies, such as Licensed Assisted Access, are becoming available using the 5 GHz Shared Band for the provision of fourth generation mobile services based on the Long Term Evolution standard in an unprotected and uncoordinated manner.  If these technologies are implemented in Hong Kong, there will be a significant addition to the spectrum capacity provided by the existing total amount of 552 MHz of licensed mobile spectrum assigned to the mobile network operators and hence enhancement in service quality to be experienced by mobile service users.

The CA would like to consult the public and the industry on its proposals to make available all the 580 MHz of the 5 GHz Shared Band for the provision of public mobile services, the associated regulatory and licensing regime, as well as the proposed amendment to the Hong Kong Table of Frequency Allocations.  Members of the industry and the public are invited to give views and comments on the proposals on or before 1 March 2018.  For details of the CA's proposals, please refer to the consultation paper which can be downloaded from the website of the CA.

CA Publishes the Spectrum Release Plan for 2018 - 2020

In accordance with the Radio Spectrum Policy Framework promulgated by the Government in April 2007, the CA published the new spectrum release plan ("SRP") for 2018 - 2020 today to inform the industry of the potential supply of spectrum for provision of public mobile and/or wireless fixed services in the following three years. 

With reference to the SRP for 2018 - 2020, 200 MHz of spectrum in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands (i.e. 890 - 915 MHz paired with 935 - 960 MHz and 1710 - 1785 MHz paired with 1805 - 1880 MHz) will be re-assigned in 2018.  The SRP also foreshadows the earliest dates of releasing the new spectrum suitable for fifth generation mobile services in the coming three years.   

The SRP for 2018 - 2020 can be downloaded from the website of the CA.

Breach of General Condition 12.1 of the Unified Carrier Licence by SmarTone Mobile Communications Limited

Following an investigation by the Office of the Communications Authority ("OFCA"), it was revealed that SmarTone had been operating radio base stations without the approval of the CA.  Having considered the findings of OFCA and the representations made by SmarTone, the CA was of the view that SmarTone had breached General Condition 12.1 of its Unified Carrier Licence.  The CA decided that a financial penalty of HK$ 140,000 should be imposed on SmarTone.  For details, please refer to the CA's Decision published on the CA's website.

Communications Authority

1 February 2018