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Hong Kong May Auction TD-SCDMA Licenses

Communications Weekly, 1/14/08

According to Liu Yang, head of public services for the Hong Kong Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA), opinions are to be solicited in Q2 this year on the requirement for TD-SCDMA services in the 2010-2019.7 MHz band. If it is decided to go ahead, frequencies will be auctioned off in the first half of 2009.

Hong Kong operators, which have already laid out huge sums for 3G licenses, have not yet publicly indicated any interest.

A China Mobile (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK) insider has revealed that although there has been no information within the company on the possibility of participating, China Mobile has been largely responsible for TD-SCDMA tests within China and may make a bid through its new Hong Kong acquisition, Peoples Telecom.

According to industry insiders China Telecom (NYSE: CHA; 0728.HK) and China Netcom (NYSE: CN; 0906.HK) are also paying close attention to the possible auction, while Unicom is uninterested.

Hong Kong already has a TD-SCDMA trial network, working on 2000 MHz equipment.

Current TD-SCDMA equipment works in the 2010 to 2025 MHz range. The 2019.7 to 2024.7 MHz band has been allocated to a 3G operator, but the 2010 to 2019.7 MHz range remains unspoken for.

Keywords: TD-SCDMA China Mobile CHL 0941.HK Hong Kong 3G license Liu Yang OFTA Peoples Telecom China Telecom CHA 0728.HK China Netcom CN 0906.HK wireless

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