Hong Kong Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 21 Dec 2021 Update History

Report Pages: 151

Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo

Hong Kong’s telecom sector faces an uphill battle keeping the #1 spot in Asia

Thanks to the combination of having a highly liberalised regulatory environment, very high-density housing spread across a small geographical area, and its strategic location at the southern tip of China, Hong Kong’s telecommunications sector continues to stay near the top of world rankings for the industry. It has kept its #1 spot in the Asian region in terms of the maturity of its telecom market – a reflection of the high penetration rates across mobile, mobile broadband, and fixed broadband. Even fixed-line teledensity in Hong Kong is impressive at over 50%, although it too has started a gradual decline in keeping with most other telecom markets around the world, as consumers slowly transition over to the mobile platform for all of their communication needs.

Darker skies may be forming on the horizon, however. As China tightens its grip on the sovereignty of the territory and imposes political, commercial, and social restrictions that were absent during the British Colonial era, Hong Kong is starting to see its potency as a regional if not global force being eaten away by countries such as Singapore that now offer much greater freedom to operate.

Concerns over national security prompted the US Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Defense to prevent the branch line of the newly completed Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) linking Los Angeles with Taiwan from being lit. And ongoing issues with the deployment of Huawei technology inside the core infrastructure of telecom networks (something that has been done extensively in Hong Kong, including in its 5G networks) means that the territory – along with its telecom sector – may become increasingly isolated from the rest of the world. Consequently, Hong Kong is likely to drop back from its position as a regional and global leader in the telecom market.

This report update includes the regulator’s market data to July 2021, telcos’ operating data to Q2 2021, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, an assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, and other recent market developments.

Key Developments

  • Google and Facebook abandon the Hong Kong leg of the Pacific Light Cable Network following objections by the US Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Defense.
  • OFCA auctions a further 255MHz of spectrum for 5G use while opening public consultations on reassigning 90MHz of spectrum in the 2.5GHz range from LTE to 5G.
  • Pay TV and fixed broadband operator i-Cable is taken over by New World Development’s Chairman Henry Cheng Kar-shun.

Key companies mentioned in this report:

Hong Kong Telecom (HKT), Hutchison Telecom (Hutchison 3), SmarTone, China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK), Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN), i-Cable, HGC Global Communications.

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