2011 Hong Kong - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

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Last updated: 12 Dec 2011 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 115

Analyst: Paul Budde

Publication Overview

Hong Kong has a sophisticated telecommunications infrastructure. The report covers trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, and converging media including VoIP and IPTV developments. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttX, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Convergence and digital media;
  • Forecasts.

Researcher:- Lisa Hulme-Jones
Current publication date:- December 2011 (17th Edition)

Executive Summary

Accelerated LTE and FttX deployments fuel a rising demand for data

Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, has built one of the most sophisticated and dynamic telecommunications markets in the world. Hong Kong’s regulator, the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA), has played a major role in developing the telecom sector. The country has put in place substantial infrastructure which supports one of the world’s highest penetrations of mobile and fixed telephone services at around 190% and 50% respectively. In addition to Hong Kong’s strong technology edge, its close geographical (and political) proximity to mainland China makes it a key gateway for all foreign telecom companies and equipment vendors. Hong Kong is also a key regional telecommunications hub and is the landing point for a significant number of strategically important submarine cables.

Hong Kong has moved quickly in providing 85% of all households with access to broadband connectivity. The number of broadband subscribers represents about 75% of the total internet subscriber base, supported by a large number of ISPs. The extensive FttX, DSL and cable coverage coupled with a large fibre optic footprint has driven the market for triple play services and IPTV.

The mobile market continues to evolve as operators ready themselves for deploying LTE services. The market shows few signs of cooling and the cycle of a new technology and the subsequent battle for market share is about to begin again, even while 3G deployment has yet to reach its peak.

Key Highlights:

  • In a densely packed market has over 2 million TV households, there were over 1.2 million IPTV subscribers and over 1.1 million cable TV subscribers in Hong Kong by mid 2011.
  • 3G subscriptions continue to grow in a competitive market and consisted of over 45% of total mobile subscribers towards end 2011.
  • A continued boom in mobile communications, in particular in mobile data is driving the need for additional spectrum. Total mobile data usage has witnessed an explosive growth with a year-on-year increase of 189% and on average each 2.5G and 3G subscriber sends 400Mbytes per month.
  • Fibre deployments continue to expand to over 50% of all broadband subscriptions and has resulted in Hong Kong becoming a world leader in terms of its broadband connection speed and competitive pricing.
  • Radio spectrum in the 678 - 686 MHz band for the provision of broadcast-type mobile TV services was successfully auctioned and awarded to China Mobile in June 2010.

Hong Kong – Key performance indicators – 2009 - 2011




2011 (e)

Internet subscribers (million)

Internet users




Internet subscribers




Broadband subscribers (million)









Subscribers to Telecoms Services

Fixed-line telephone subscribers (million)




Mobile phone subscribers (million)




  • 3G market share of mobile base




For those needing high level objective analysis on Hong Kong, this report is essential reading and gives further information on:

  • Hong Kong’s market maturity and high penetration levels, resulting in the focus of operators to continue shifting from subscriber acquisition to subscriber retention, an effort to be pursued by increasing investment in service innovation.
  • The introduction of a program initiated by OFTA for the city’s five broadband providers to provide updates against quarterly performance pledges that are published on their websites.
  • OFTA’s introduction of a voluntary registration scheme for buildings with optical fibre access networks to promote further development of the broadband infrastructure in Hong Kong.
  • HKBN’s aims to be the largest ISP service provider in Hong Kong by 2016. The US$13 a month 100Mb/s symmetrical broadband offer, was followed by the introduction of a world leading 1Gb/s service at US$26 a month in April 2010.
  • Plans for an auction of 2.3GHz spectrum in the second half of 2011. The auction is for 90 MHz of spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band that was leftover from a 2009 auction.
  • The deployment in 2010 of DC HSPA+ solutions by PCCW and SmarTone allowing for peak downstream speeds up to 42Mb/s.
  • The start of commercial operations of the CSL LTE/DC-HSPA+ network in late 2010 for selected corporate customers and expansion to existing subscribers in 2011.
  • Plans by Hutchison (3) to rollout 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband services in Hong Kong in late 2011.
  • The unsurprising survey results that show the lives of Hong Kong youth revolve around their digital gadgets, ranking first in owning such products when compared to their counterparts surveyed across Asia.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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