Public Consultation on Assignment Arrangements of Spectrum in 6/7 GHz Band Launched

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (SCED) and the Communications Authority (CA) today (18 July 2023) jointly launched a public consultation on arrangements for assignment of 400 MHz of spectrum in the 6/7 GHz band (6570-6770 MHz and 6925-7125 MHz) for the provision of public mobile services, and the methods for setting the related spectrum utilisation fee (SUF).

"Being the mid-band frequency blocks with the largest amount of spectrum available for mobile services, the 6/7 GHz band would enable the deployment of fifth generation (5G) mobile networks and services with speeds and capacity vital to the future sustainable development of digital economy and mobile broadband connectivity in Hong Kong," a spokesman for the CA said.

To enable the use of the 6/7 GHz band for the provision of public mobile services, the CA also proposes to amend the Hong Kong Table of Frequency Allocations to allocate the 6425-7075 MHz band to mobile service on a co-primary basis in addition to the existing allocations to fixed service and fixed satellite service (Earth-to-space).

As there are likely to be competing demands for the spectrum, the CA proposes to assign it by way of auction. Similar to the other spectrum assigned for public mobile services by way of auction, the SCED proposes that the SUF should reflect the full market value, and will set the auction reserve prices nearer the time.

"The auctioning of spectrum will ensure that such a scarce public resource be put into the hands of those who value it the most and will consequently put it to the most efficient use, thereby benefiting the general public at large," a spokesman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) said.

Meanwhile, the CA has updated the Spectrum Release Plan (SRP) for 2023-2025 to inform the industry of the potential supply of spectrum in the 6570-6770 MHz and 6910-7125 MHz band for the provision of public mobile services. The updated SRP for 2023-2025 is available on the CA's website.

Views and comments from the industry and other interested parties are welcome on or before 15 August 2023. After taking into account the views and comments received in response to the public consultation, the SCED and the CA target to make their respective decisions around the first half of 2024.

The consultation paper can be downloaded from the websites of the CEDB and the CA.

Commerce and Economic Development Bureau
Communications Authority
18 July 2023