Hong Kong invites mobile TV spectrum bids

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Application Invited to Bid for the Radio Spectrum for the Provision of Broadcast-type Mobile Television Services

HONG KONG — The Office of the Telecommunications Authority (“OFTA”) today (26 February 2010) published an Information Memorandum inviting applications to bid for radio spectrum in the 678 – 686 MHz band in an auction to be conducted in May 2010 for the provision of broadcast-type mobile television (“mobile TV”) services in Hong Kong. The Information Memorandum sets out the minimum spectrum utilization fee (“SUF”) for the mobile TV auction, the auction rules and other elements of the licensing framework.

“At present, 2.5G and 3G mobile operators are deploying streaming-type point-to-point technologies to deliver audio-visual content to consumers. The assignment of the 678 – 686 MHz band will enable the deployment of broadcast-type point-to-multipoint technologies to deliver audio-visual content to a much larger number of consumers,” a spokesperson of OFTA said.

“Both new entrants and incumbent mobile operators may take part in the auction. To reflect the value of radio spectrum as a scarce public resource, the use of the radio spectrum to be released in this auction will be subject to payment of SUF. The Government has set the minimum SUF at HK$24 million. The actual amount of SUF payable will be determined by the auction exercise,” the spokesperson continued.

“The assignment of the radio spectrum will be valid for 15 years. The successful bidder, which will be assigned with the radio spectrum under a unified carrier licence, will be required to use at least 75% of the transmission capacity to deliver mobile TV content, and to provide service coverage to at least 50% of the Hong Kong population within 18 months from the grant of the licence,” the spokesperson elaborated.

OFTA will auction the radio spectrum using multiple round ascending format with an Internet-based software platform. The Information Memorandum can be downloaded from OFTA’s website. OFTA will conduct an industry briefing for interested parties on 31 March 2010 and accept bidding applications on 22 and 23 April 2010.

More: Mobile TV Implementation Framework