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In the sale of 120 MHz of spectrum in both 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, Hong Kong’s government was able to earn HKD6 billion ($767 million).

According to the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA), market leader HKT was the top spender, acquiring during the auction 20MHz of spectrum in each band (40MHz in total) for HKD2.22 billion.

The OFCA said the territory’s four operators acquired a total 50MHz of spectrum in the 900MHz band and 70MHz in the 1800MHz band.

Next to HKT, China Mobile Hong Kong bought 30MHz for HKD1.48 billion; SmarTone also picked up 30MHz in both bands for HKD1.34 billion; and 3 Hong Kong purchased 20MHz for HKD960 million.

Meanwhile each successful bidder will be required to submit a letter of credit by March 20, 2019 guaranteeing payment of the spectrum utilization fees.

The new licenses will have a term of 15 years following the expiry of existing spectrum assignments.

It is noteworthy that in September, the regulator reassigned 80MHz of 1800MHz spectrum, conferring 20MHz for each of the four mobile operators.

“Some of the spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands will change hands in the new assignment term. The incumbent spectrum assignees will have a transitional period of about two years to reconfigure their existing networks and/or roll out additional network infrastructure. OFCA will coordinate with them to ensure a smooth changeover during the run up to the commencement of the new assignment term,” an OFCA representative said.

Last week the Communications Authority announced it will assign the first batch of 5G spectrum in the 26GHz and 28GHz bands for use across the territory by Q2 and also plans to auction off 380MHz of 3.3GHz, 3.5GHz and 4.9GHz spectrum in mid-2019.