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3 HK Calls for Transparent 5G Spectrum Roadmap

Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings’ (HTHKH) mobile division 3 Hong Kong has joined the call for reforms to the market’s spectrum policy and roadmap to expedite the launch of 5G services.

In a submission to the government’s consultation on arrangements for the allocation of spectrum in the 3.4-GHz to 3.6-GHz band, 3 Hong Kong urged the government to introduce a transparent and long-term spectrum policy with a 10-year rather than 3-year spectrum supply plan.

The operator raised concerns about issues including the Communications Authority’s proposal to establish large scale 5G restriction zones to minimize interference to the satellite services operated in the band for satellite remote testing, tracking and control.

3 Hong Kong said such zones would have a negative impact on both 5G communications and the deployment of M2M connectivity across Hong Kong, which will be a key component of the HKSAR government’s smart city ambitions.

Mobile operators have proposed a number of alternatives to the restriction zones, including relocating the telemetry, tracking and control station from Tai Po Industrial Estate to a remote area, adding shielding coverage to telemetry stations and optimizing radiation from mobile base station antennae.

The operator also opposed a suggested spectrum cap of 100MHz at the upcoming auction, citing concerns it may lead to a scenario of only two successful licensees dominating 5G markets.

Meanwhile the reserve price should be set at a minimal level to encourage 5G infrastructure investment, the submission states.

Finally, 3 Hong Kong joined HKT in urging the government to provide operators with a right of access to enter buildings, shopping malls, MTR premises and road tunnels to install 5G equipment.

But in its own submission, Asia’s top satellite operator AsiaSat has expressed significant concerns about the proposal to reallocate the C band to 5G services, and argued that the proposed exclusion zones are not an adequate solution.

The C-band provides a variety of services including contribution and distribution of TV services, broadcasting data and information such as meteorological data, maritime/aeronautical related safety, disaster relief and emergency communications services, AsiaSat said.

Reallocating the band will significantly limit Hong Kong and Greater China’s satellite operators’ ability to control and monitor their satellite fleet and earth stations, the submission states.

Links for safe monitoring and operation of satellites may be lost and numerous satellite TV dishes mounted on buildings across Hong Kong would need to be readjusted.

AsiaSat has recommended that the government require operators to find alternative mitigation methods to minimize interference, and that operators should bear the cost of implementing these methods. – Telecom Asia

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