Hong Kong - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Hong Kong’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the Telecoms Infrastructure, mobile, fixed broadband, Digital Media and Digital Economy sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Regional market comparisons
  • Telecoms Maturity Index
  • Data centres and smart Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
  • Broadband (FTTH, DSL);
  • Internet of Things, 5G developments
  • Mobile, broadband and mobile broadband forecasts to 2023-4.

Reseracher:- Phil Harpur
Current publication date:- August 2019 (25th Edition)

Executive Summary

Hong Kong takes strong steps towards launching 5G mobile services

Hong Kong possesses a small but well-developed mobile market and a number of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). Intense competition within a small market has led to consolidation, with the number of mobile network operators reduced to four.

Mobile subscriber penetration is now well over 200% due to the high number of tourists visiting Hong Kong and high number of local residents with more than one mobile device. Mobile subscriber growth is expected to be relatively low over the next five years to 2024 due to a highly mature and highly competitive market.

Mobile broadband subscriber growth is expected to be relatively low over the next five years to 2024 due to a highly mature mobile subscriber market, with a significant proportion of subscribers already having mobile broadband access.

The government of Hong Kong expects the territory to be among the world’s earliest adopters of 5G mobile technology in 2020. During 2018-19, a number of Hong Kong Mobile Operators are paving the way for the introduction of 5G services. China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) has tested an end-to-end 5G network using Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) enabling in-home high-speed Wi-Fi internet access to end-users.

The extensive roll-out of fixed broadband infrastructure has allowed Hong Kong to provide almost all households with access to high-speed broadband connectivity. Internationally, Hong Kong’s broadband penetration rate is among the highest in the world.

Broadband investment initially focused on DSL and HFC technology platforms although operators have switched focus to higher bandwidth fibre access platforms, due to inherent advantage of fibre access networks over competing platforms, especially in the geographically compact territory of Hong Kong.

Fixed-line broadband market penetration has grown slowly over the past five years in a highly mature market. Over the next five years to 2024 growth is expected to continue to increase slowly.

Demand for broadband is driven by consumption of bandwidth-intensive online services such as OTT video, music and games; the proliferation of Internet connected devices including TVs, smartphones, tablets and PCs; and increasing usage of corporate broadband services that include cloud services and software.

Underpinned by widely accessible, fast and affordable fixed and mobile broadband services, Hong Kong has developed into a digital economy to improve socio-economic development. Technology has been utilised to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of commerce, government services, healthcare, education and utilities.

Hong Kong’s small size and high population density has enabled the country to extensively rollout fixed broadband infrastructure and provide almost all households with access to high-speed broadband connectivity. This has propelled Hong Kong to boast the highest peak average broadband speeds in the world.

International internet connectivity continues to grow, driven by Hong Kong’s status as an international financial hub and its location next to China.

Fixed line growth in Hong Kong has declined over the past five years as consumers migrate to wireless voice and data services. This trend is predicted to continue over the next five years to 2024.

While current data centre sites are sufficient to support immediate demand, Hong Kong needs cheaper land options for data centre usage and government support to achieve its long-term goal as a data centre hub and smart city.

The government has taken steps towards coordinated development of a smart city. The Hong Kong government announced a range of measures in six areas, including “Smart Mobility”, “Smart Living”, and “Smart Environment”, which will be introduced over the next few years to 2024.

Underpinning delivery of digital economy services is increasing affordability and sophistication of end user devices and IOT connected sensors as well as continual investment in network infrastructure to connect end-user devices as well as integration of new mobile related technologies designed to improve wireless broadband capacity and service quality.

Key Developments

  • Hong Kong expects the territory to be among the world's earliest adopters of 5G mobile technology in 2020.
  • CMHK claimed to be the first operator in Hong Kong to test an end-to-end 5G network using Customer Premises Equipment (CPE).
  • Mobile broadband subscriber growth is expected to be relatively low over the next five years to 2024.
  • Fixed-line broadband market penetration has grown slowly over the past five years in a highly mature market.
  • HGC Global Communications is looking to 5G as a key opportunity for its fibre business.
  • Fixed line growth in Hong Kong has declined over the past five years. This trend will continue over the next five years to 2024.

Key companies mentioned in this report:

Hong Kong Telecom (HKT), Hutchison Telecom Hong Kong Holdings (3), SmarTone, Vodafone, China Mobile, China Mobile HK, CITIC Telecom, CSL; Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN); i-Cable, HGC Global Communications.

Phil Harpur
August 2019

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Telecommunications market

    • Market overview and analysis
    • Regional Asian Market Comparison
  • Regulatory environment

    • Historical overview
    • Regulatory authority
    • Government policies
      • Fibre Infrastructure to Villages
      • Telecom Sector Liberalisation
      • Universal Service Obligation (USO)
      • Digital 21 IT Strategy
      • FttB/FttH building registration scheme
      • Number Portability (NP)
  • Fixed network operators

    • Introduction
    • Hong Kong Telecom (HKT)
      • Company overview
      • Company background
    • Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN)
    • Hutchison Telecom Hong Kong Holdings (HTHKH)
      • Company overview
      • Company background
    • HGC Global Communications
    • i-Cable
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • Overview of the national telecom network
      • Fixed-line statistics
    • International infrastructure
      • Submarine cable networks
    • Data centres
      • Overview
    • Smart infrastructure
      • Introduction
      • IoT
      • Smart Grids
      • Smart Cities
  • Broadband market

    • Market overview and analysis
    • Fixed broadband statistics and forecasts
    • Fixed broadband service providers
    • Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
    • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Networks
    • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
      • Overview
      • Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN)
      • Hong Kong Telecom (HKT)
      • i-Cable
    • Other fixed broadband services
      • WiFi
  • Digital economy

    • E-Government
  • Mobile communications

    • Market overview and analysis
    • Mobile statistics and forecasts
    • Mobile broadband statistics and forecasts
    • Regulatory issues
      • Licensing
      • Spectrum
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • 2G
      • 3G
      • 4G
      • 5G
      • Voice over LTE (VoLTE)
    • Major mobile operators
      • Operator statistics
      • Hong Kong Telecom (HKT)
      • Hutchison Telekom (3 Hutchison)
      • SmarTone
      • China Mobile Hong Kong
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)

List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Country Statistics, Major Operators and Telco Authorities – 2019 (e)
  • Table 2 – Top Level Country Statistics – 2019 (e)
  • Table 3 – Historic - Total fixed numbers ported – 2005 – 2016
  • Table 4 – i-Cable subscribers per service – 2008 – 2017
  • Table 5 – Fixed Line Subscriptions and Penetration – 2007 – 2019
  • Table 6 – Historic - Fixed-line telephony subscribers – 2000 – 2015
  • Table 7 – International bandwidth – 2013 – 2019
  • Table 8 – Fixed Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2007 – 2024
  • Table 9 – Internet Users and Penetration – 2007 – 2019
  • Table 10 – Historic - Fixed broadband internet access subscribers – 2000 – 2016
  • Table 11 – Historic - Residential broadband subscriptions by technology platform – 2010 – 2016
  • Table 12 – Historic - Residential broadband ARPU – 2010 – 2016
  • Table 13 – HKT - broadband subscribers (thousands) – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 14 – FTTH and FTTB household penetration rate – 2018
  • Table 15 – Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) –Revenue and EBITDA – 2016 – 2018
  • Table 16 – Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) – broadband subscribers (thousands) – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 17 – HKBN – ARPU - Residential and Enterprise – 2017 – 2018
  • Table 18 – HKT – total broadband subscribers (millions) – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 19 – HKT – fibre broadband subscribers – 2003 – 2018
  • Table 20 – HKT – High speed consumer -fibre broadband + VDSL subscribers – 2016 – 2018
  • Table 21 – Number of public WiFi access point and WiFi zones – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 22 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2007 – 2024
  • Table 23 – Historic - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration – 1984 – 2006
  • Table 24 – Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 - 2024
  • Table 25 – Historic - Total mobile numbers ported
  • Table 26 – Mobile operators - subscribers and market share – 2019
  • Table 27 – HKT - prepaid and postpaid subscribers – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 28 – HKT - financial data - (HK$ million) – 2016 – 2018
  • Table 29 – 3 Hutchison - mobile subscribers – 1998 – 2019
  • Table 30 – Historic – 3 Hutchison - mobile subscribers 2G and 3G postpaid and total
  • Table 31 – 3 Hutchison – Services Revenue – 2016 – 2018
  • Table 32 – 3 Hutchison – Capex – 2017 – 2018
  • Table 33 – 3 Hutchison - postpaid ARPU, AMPU and churn – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 34 – SmarTone financial data – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 35 – SmarTone – Blended ARPU – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 36 – SmarTone mobile subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 37 – SmarTone spectrum holdings – January 2015
  • Table 38 – China Mobile Hong Kong – subscribers – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 39 – Historic - MVNO subscribers – 2007 – 2016

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Mobile, Mobile Broadband & Fixed Broadband Penetration – 2019; 2024
  • Chart 5 – Fixed Line Subscriptions and Penetration – 2007 – 2019
  • Chart 6 – Fixed Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 7 – Internet Users and Penetration – 2007 – 2019
  • Chart 8 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 9 – Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2010 - 2024

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 3 – Major submarine cables with landing points in Hong Kong
  • Exhibit 4 – HTHKH frequency allocations – 2015

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