2013 Hong Kong - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

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 to 2018

Reseracher:- Paul Budde
Current publication date:- April 2013 (19th Edition)

Executive Summary

Rising imperative for new business models to succeed as LTE and FttX fuel data demand

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 Communications Authority (OFCA), 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 population penetration of mobile and fixed telephone services at around 230% and 50% respectively. In addition to Hong Kong’s strong technology edge, its close geographical 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 number of strategically important submarine cables.

Hong Kong provides 90% of all households with access to broadband connectivity. The number of broadband subscribers represents about 75% of the total internet subscriber base. 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 all operators have now launched LTE services. A stronger than anticipated mobile growth rate has resulted in BuddeComm lifting the forecast to 2018. The strong up-take in 4G has seen an encouraging lift in ARPU due to operators changing pricing plan constructs, which has mitigated accelerated declines in SMS traffic volumes.

Key Highlights:

  • Fixed line subscriptions decline faster than expected, impacted by increased VoIP usage coupled with an element of mobile substitution.
  • Fixed broadband growth is the slowest on record although this is largely attributed to household penetration levels reaching 90%. Fibre accounts for 60% of all broadband subscriptions and Hong Kong is a world leader in terms of broadband connection speeds and competitive pricing.
  • 3G/4Gsubscriptions consist of close to 60% of the total mobile base while data contributions to mobile revenue now exceed 50%.
  • An additional 50MHz of spectrum in the 2.5/2.6GHz band was awarded to five operators which will alleviate short term spectrum congestion concerns. Increasing smartphone and tablet adoption has resulted in a six-fold increase in mobile data used per subscriber over the past four years. . The average 2.5G/3G/4G subscriber used in excess of 750Mbytes per month in 2012.
  • 2012 saw increased Wi-Fi deployment in Hong Kong. Notably, Hong Kong Broadband Network acquired a well established Wi-Fi wholesale operator to expand its consumer reach.
  • Domestic traffic demand has been met by a 45% increase in equipped submarine capacity over 2012 and a 27% increase in activated submarine capacity.

Hong Kong – Key performance indicators – 2010 - 2013

Sector

2010

2013 (e)

Internet subscribers (million)

Internet users

5.60

6.00

Internet subscribers

2.87

3.20

Broadband subscribers (million)

Total

2.12

2.30

FttX

0.74

1.61

Subscribers to Telecoms Services

Fixed-line telephone subscribers (million)

3.68

3.43

Mobile phone subscribers (million)

13.40

17.60

3G/4G market share of mobile base

39%

64%

 (Source: BuddeComm)

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key Statistics
  • 2. Country Overview
    • 2.1 Background
    • 2.2 Hong Kong’s economy
  • 3. Telecommunications Market
    • 3.1 Overview of Hong Kong’s telecom market
    • 3.2 Competition in the market
    • 3.3 Market pricing
      • 3.3.1 2008
      • 3.3.2 2011
    • 3.4 Focus on innovation in a mature market
    • 3.5 Telecommunications market sectors
      • 3.5.1 Fixed-line and mobile phones
      • 3.5.2 Fixed telecommunications services – background
      • 3.5.3 Internet and broadband
      • 3.5.4 Submarine cable networks
  • 4. Regulatory Environment
    • 4.1 Overview
    • 4.2 OFCA (Office of the Communications Authority)
      • 4.2.1 OFTA (Office of the Telecommunications Authority)
    • 4.3 Regulatory developments – 2000-2013
  • 5. Major Operators
    • 5.1 Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCCW)
      • 5.1.1 Company overview
      • 5.1.2 Company background
      • 5.1.3 Financial statistics
      • 5.1.4 Operations statistics
    • 5.2 City Telecom (HK) Ltd (HKBN)
      • 5.2.1 Company overview
      • 5.2.2 Company background
    • 5.3 Hutchison Telecom Hong Kong Holdings (HTHKH)
      • 5.3.1 Company overview
      • 5.3.2 Company background
      • 5.3.3 Financial statistics
      • 5.3.4 Operational statistics
    • 5.4 Wharf T&T Hong Kong (i-Cable)
      • 5.4.1 Company overview
      • 5.4.2 Company background
      • 5.4.3 Financial statistics
      • 5.4.4 Operational statistics
    • 5.5 CSL
      • 5.5.1 Company overview
      • 5.5.2 Company background
      • 5.5.3 Operational statistics
    • 5.6 China Mobile Hong Kong (Peoples)
    • 5.7 SmarTone-Vodafone
      • 5.7.1 Company overview
      • 5.7.2 Company background
      • 5.7.3 Financial statistics
      • 5.7.4 Operational statistics
  • 6. Internet Market
    • 6.1 Overview
    • 6.2 Internet statistics
    • 6.3 Internet traffic volume
    • 6.4 Domain names
    • 6.5 Internet contribution to GDP
  • 7. Broadband Market
    • 7.1 Background
    • 7.2 Overview
    • 7.3 Broadband statistics
    • 7.4 Broadband performance pledges
    • 7.5 Digital 21 IT Strategy
    • 7.6 Broadband Survey results
      • 7.6.1 Saïd Business School
      • 7.6.2 Akamai Technologies
    • 7.7 FttB/FttH building registration scheme
    • 7.8 Broadband technologies
      • 7.8.1 Overview
      • 7.8.2 Cable modems
      • 7.8.3 Digital subscriber line (DSL)
      • 7.8.4 Fibre to the home (FttH)
      • 7.8.5 Wireless access
    • 7.9 Major broadband operators
      • 7.9.1 i-Cable Communications (Hong Kong Cable Television Ltd)
      • 7.9.2 Hong Kong Broadband Network Services (City Telecom – CTInets)
      • 7.9.3 PCCW
      • 7.9.4 SmarTone Broadband Services
    • 7.10 Broadband television in Hong Kong
      • 7.10.1 Internet protocol TV (IPTV)
      • 7.10.2 Cable television (CATV)
  • 8. Digital Media / Digital Economy
    • 8.1 Television broadcasting
      • 8.1.1 Overview
      • 8.1.2 Transmission modes
      • 8.1.3 Pay TV
      • 8.1.4 Free-to-air (FTA) television
  • 9. Mobile Communications
    • 9.1 Overview
    • 9.2 Market status 2013
    • 9.3 Mobile statistics
      • 9.3.1 Mobile subscribers 1984-2012
      • 9.3.2 Mobile prepaid cards 1997-2013
      • 9.3.3 Mobile subscribers by operator
    • 9.4 Regulatory issues
      • 9.4.1 Mobile number portability (MNP)
      • 9.4.2 Spectrum licensing
    • 9.5 Mobile technologies
      • 9.5.1 Analogue
      • 9.5.2 Telepoint CT-2
      • 9.5.3 GSM/2G
      • 9.5.4 Personal communications services (PCS)/2G
      • 9.5.5 High-speed circuit-switched data (HSCSD)
      • 9.5.6 General packet radio service (GPRS)
      • 9.5.7 Enhanced data for GSM evolution (EDGE)
      • 9.5.8 High-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA)
      • 9.5.9 CDMA
      • 9.5.10 CDMA2000
      • 9.5.11 Third Generation (3G) mobile
      • 9.5.12 LTE (Long-term evolution)/4G
    • 9.6 Mobile virtual network operators (MVNO)
    • 9.7 Mobile services
      • 9.7.1 Short message service (SMS)
      • 9.7.2 Mobile data usage
    • 9.8 Mobile content
      • 9.8.1 Background
      • 9.8.2 Mobile phone versus smartphone usage
      • 9.8.3 Smartphones and tablets
      • 9.8.4 Mobile TV
      • 9.8.5 Mobile music
      • 9.8.6 Stock trading
  • 10. Forecasts
    • 10.1 Forecast fixed line subscribers – 2013-2014; 2018
    • 10.2 Forecast broadband subscribers: 2013-2014; 2018
    • 10.3 Forecast total mobile and 3G subscribers – 2013-2014; 2018
    • Table 1 – Country statistics Hong Kong – 2013
    • Table 2 – Telecommunications revenue and investment – 2012 (e)
    • Table 3 – Telephone network statistics – January 2013
    • Table 4 – Internet statistics – March 2013
    • Table 5 – Broadband statistics – January 2013
    • Table 6 – Mobile statistics – January 2013
    • Table 7 – National telecommunications authorities
    • Table 8 – Hong Kong telecoms service revenue and capex – 1994 – 2011
    • Table 9 – Number of telecoms operators by category – March 2013
    • Table 10 – Fixed line versus mobile subscriptions and penetration rates – 1998 - 2014
    • Table 11 – Fixed-line telephony subscribers – 2000 – 2013
    • Table 12 – External fixed-line telephone traffic volume in minutes – 1997 – 2012
    • Table 13 – IP telephony subscribers – 2007 - 2013
    • Table 14 – External telecommunications facilities capacity of Hong Kong – 2000 - 2012
    • Table 15 – PCCW consolidated revenue, EBITDA and profit US$ – 2001 - 2012
    • Table 16 – PCCW core revenue US$ – 2006 – 2012
    • Table 17 – PCCW TSS revenue US$ – 2008 – 2012
    • Table 18 – PCCW exchange lines in service – 2003 – 2012
    • Table 19 – PCCW 2G and 3G subscribers – 2005 - 2012
    • Table 20 – PCCW prepaid and postpaid subscribers – 2005 - 2012
    • Table 21 – PCCW 3G and blended ARPU – 2007 – 2012
    • Table 22 – City Telecom revenue and profit – 2001 – 2011
    • Table 23 – HTHKH revenue and profit – 2006 – 2012
    • Table 24 – HTHKH mobile service revenue for data, voice, roaming – 2009 – 2012
    • Table 25 – Hutchison mobile subscribers and annual change – 1998 – 2012
    • Table 26 – Hutchison 3G mobile subscribers and annual change – 2004 - 2008
    • Table 27 – HTHKH mobile subscribers 2G and 3G postpaid and total - 2008 - 2012
    • Table 28 – Hutchison postpaid ARPU – 2010 – 2012
    • Table 29 – i-Cable revenue and profit – 2005 – 2012
    • Table 30 – Wharf T&T fixed-line, i-Cable broadband and pay TV subscribers – 2001 - 2012
    • Table 31 – Hong Kong CSL subscribers and annual change – 1998 - 2005
    • Table 32 – New World Mobility subscribers and annual change – 1998 - 2005
    • Table 33 – CSL New World subscribers and annual change – 2006 - 2012
    • Table 34 – Peoples (China Mobile Hong Kong) subscribers and annual change – 1998 - 2012
    • Table 35 – SmarTone revenue and profit – 2002 - 2012
    • Table 36 – SmarTone - ARPU and data contribution – 2002 - 2012
    • Table 37 – SmarTone subscribers and annual change – 1998 - 2012
    • Table 38 – SmarTone - 3G subscribers – 2004 – 2012
    • Table 39 – Internet users and subscribers – 1996 - 2013
    • Table 40 – Internet traffic volume (PSTN and broadband) – 1997 – 2012
    • Table 41 – Use of international private leased circuits (IPLCs) – 2002 - 2012
    • Table 42 – Registered domain names – 2004 – 2013
    • Table 43 – Broadband internet access subscribers – 2000 - 2013
    • Table 44 – Narrowband internet access subscribers – 2000 - 2013
    • Table 45 – Prepaid and leased line internet access subscribers – 2000 – 2013
    • Table 46 – Broadband subscribers and households – January 2013
    • Table 47 – Broadband internet traffic volume – 2000 – 2012
    • Table 48 – Broadband performance pledges – Q4 2012
    • Table 49 – Digital 21 Strategy – key indicators – April 2013
    • Table 50 – Broadband ranking evolution top 10 countries – 2008 - 2010
    • Table 51 – Broadband subscribers by operator – 2007 - 2012
    • Table 52 – Cable modem internet subscribers – 2000 - 2014
    • Table 53 – DSL subscribers – 1999 - 2014
    • Table 54 – FttX subscribers – 2001 - 2014
    • Table 55 – i-Cable broadband and VoIP subscribers and penetration – 2000 - 2012
    • Table 56 – i-Cable cable TV subscribers, penetration and ARPU – 1995 – 2012
    • Table 57 – HKBN triple play subscribers, ARPU and IDD traffic volume – 2003 – 2012
    • Table 58 – PCCW broadband subscribers – 2000 - 2012
    • Table 59 – PCCW NOW TV subscribers and ARPU – 2003 - 2012
    • Table 60 – IPTV subscribers – 2003 - 2012
    • Table 61 – Cable television subscribers – 2000 - 2012
    • Table 62 – Broadcasting service statistics – March 2013
    • Table 63 – TV household penetration by licence type – March 2013
    • Table 64 – TV channels provided by all TV licensees in Hong Kong – 2000 - 2012
    • Table 65 – Hong Kong households’ TV coverage by transmission modes – December 2009
    • Table 66 – Digital terrestrial television population coverage – 2007 - 2011
    • Table 67 – Pay TV subscribers – 2000 - 2010
    • Table 68 – Mobile subscribers and annual change – 1984 - 2014
    • Table 69 – Prepaid and activated SIM cards – 1997 – 2013
    • Table 70 – Mobile operators, technology, subscribers and annual change – March 2009
    • Table 71 – Selected mobile operator subscribers and market share – December 2012
    • Table 72 – Operator market share by subscribers – 2003 – 2011
    • Table 73 – Total mobile numbers ported – 1999 – 2012
    • Table 74 – Analogue subscribers and annual change – 1984 - 1997
    • Table 75 – GSM 2G subscribers and annual change – 1993 – 2012
    • Table 76 – PCS subscribers and annual change – 1997 – 2008
    • Table 77 – 2.5G subscribers – 2002 – 2012
    • Table 78 – 3G/4G mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2012
    • Table 79 – MVNO subscribers – 2005 – 2012
    • Table 80 – SMS messages sent and received – 2002 – 2012
    • Table 81 – SMS statistics for Christmas Day and New Years Day – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 82 – SMS statistics for Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year Day – 2006 – 2013
    • Table 83 – Mobile data usage – 2002 – 2012
    • Table 84 – Forecast fixed-line subscribers and penetration - higher band – 2013 - 2014; 2018
    • Table 85 – Forecast fixed-line subscribers and penetration - lower band – 2013 - 2014; 2018
    • Table 86 – Forecast broadband subscribers and penetration - higher band: 2013 - 2014; 2018
    • Table 87 – Forecast broadband subscribers and penetration - lower band: 2013 - 2014; 2018
    • Table 88 – Forecast mobile subscribers and penetration higher band forecast – 2013 - 2014; 2018
    • Table 89 – Forecast mobile subscribers and penetration lower band forecast – 2013 - 2014; 2018
    • Chart 1 – Hong Kong service revenue and capex – 1995 - 2011
    • Chart 2 – Hong Kong fixed-line and mobile subscribers – 1995 - 2014
    • Chart 3 – Hong Kong fixed-line telephony subscribers – 2000 - 2013
    • Chart 4 – Hong Kong IP telephony subscribers – 2007 - 2013
    • Chart 5 – PCCW revenue, capex, ARPU – 2006 - 2012
    • Chart 6 – Hong Kong internet users, subscribers and user penetration – 1997 - 2011
    • Chart 7 – Hong Kong international capacity and broadband traffic volume – 2002 - 2012
    • Chart 8 – Hong Kong broadband internet subscribers and population penetration – 2000 - 2014
    • Chart 9 – Hong Kong internet subscribers by type – 2000 - 2012
    • Chart 10 – Hong Kong broadband internet subscribers by access type – 2000 - 2014
    • Chart 11 – Hong Kong cable modem internet subscribers – 2000 - 2014
    • Chart 12 – Hong Kong DSL internet subscribers – 2000 - 2014
    • Chart 13 – Hong Kong cable FttX subscribers – 2007 - 2014
    • Chart 14 – Hong Kong mobile subscriber growth, population penetration – 1995 - 2012
    • Chart 15 – Hong Kong technology market share – 1990 - 2012
    • Chart 16 – Hong Kong 3G/4G mobile subscribers – 2005 - 2012
    • Chart 17 – Quality profile of smartphone users – end 2010
    • Exhibit 1 – Map of Hong Kong
    • Exhibit 2 – Licensees and issue dates – April 2013
    • Exhibit 3 – Major operators by service type - 2011
    • Exhibit 4 – Major submarine cables with landing points in Hong Kong – 2012
    • Exhibit 5 – The ‘original’ PCCW deal
    • Exhibit 6 – HTHKH frequency allocations – 2012
    • Exhibit 7 –TV broadcasting licensees – March 2013
    • Exhibit 8 – Transmission modes employed by TV licensees
    • Exhibit 9 – Mobile virtual network operator licensees – April 2013
    • Exhibit 10 – Top 10 activities on mobile phones versus smartphones – 2010

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