Hong Kong Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Publication Date: May 2024

Report Pages: 181

Hong Kong’s MNOs making use of recently auctioned 5G-suitable spectrum

Hong Kong telecom sector has capitalised on having a liberalised regulatory environment, high-density housing spread across a small geographical area, and a strategic location at the southern tip of China. The territory lies near the top of world rankings for several parameters, including fibre broadband penetration, 5G use, and mobile penetration. Fixed-line teledensity is above 50%, declined 4% in 2022 as consumers continued to transition to mobile and IP platforms.

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 force being eaten away by countries such as Singapore which 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 from its position as a regional leader in the telecom market.

Key Developments

  • HKBN expands MVNO agreement with HTHK to include 5G mobile and fibre network services.
  • Unregistered prepaid SIM cards deactivated as from February 2023.
  • Regulator announces completion of three submarine fibre cables connecting Lamma Island, Cheung Chau, and Peng Chau under the government’s subsidy scheme, with telcos committing to provide a 1Gb/s service to most of the 235 villages affected.
  • Proposed acquisition of HKBN by I Squared Capital suspended due to low purchase price.
  • 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.
  • MNOs close GSM networks and repurpose spectrum and infrastructure for LTE and 5G use.
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to March 2023, telcos' financial and operating data updates to H1 2023, updated Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, and recent market developments.

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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