OFCA publishes mobile spectrum release plan

OFCA has revealed its spectrum auction roadmap for the next three years (Image baona / iStockPhoto)

The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) has published a spectrum release plan for the next three years for the provision of mobile services.

OFCA has confirmed it is planning to assign spectrum across four frequency ranges in 2019, including 200 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5-GHz band – a frequency band expected to be widely used in 5G networks worldwide - for the provision of mobile services from April 2020.

The regulator also plans to allocate 4,000MHz of spectrum in the 24-GHz to 28-GHz bands for use in fixed wireless services, 100MHz of spectrum in the 3.3-GHz band for the provision of indoor mobile services and 80MHz of spectrum in the 4.8-GHz band for the provision of general mobile services.

In 2020, the regulator meanwhile plans to allocate up to 160MHz of spectrum in the 600-MHz to 800-MHz bands for the provision of indoor mobile services from July 2021 at the earliest.

The timing of the release of the latter spectrum will depend on progress with the switch off of analog TV broadcasting in the market.

In December last year, OFCA held an auction of spectrum in the 900-MHz and 1800-MHz bands as part of its hybrid approach to the reallocation of spectrum due to expiring spectrum licenses. The auction raised HK$6 billion for the HKSAR government, with each of Hong Kong's four mobile operators participating.

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