Hong Kong operators roll out 5G on three of its four networks.
Hong Kong sees its first release of high speed, low latency 5G spectrum made available by HKT, 3 Hong Kong and China Mobile Hong Kong. The fourth company, SmarTone, has yet to reveal any plans to do the same.
On the 1st of April 2020, the Hong Kong operators activated their 5G services for commercial use. All four operators collectively acquired 200 megahertz of 3.5 GHz spectrum for 1 billion Hong Kong Dollars (HKD), or 129 million US Dollars in October of 2019 with licenses valid for the coming 15 years.
China Mobile Hong Kong made a statement saying that its 5G network would cover 90% of districts, being Causeway Bay, Wan Chai, and the major Central and Western districts. In addition to 90% of Kwun Tong, and around 80% of Tsuen Wan districts, their network effectively covers the entire city, with hotspots in public spaces and shopping malls. The company had previously carried out 5G standalone network trials, allowing network slicing services to take place.
The carrier explained how having different slices can allow for customized private network services, and a more diversified 5G application for corporate customers. This helps facilitate many projects in real estate, property management, and financial sectors as well as others. The company also stated how their founding of “The Greater Bay Area 5G Industry Alliance,” formed in August of last year, helped further develop joint research initiatives for the development of 5G technology and innovation for 5G-based products and maintain industry standards.
3 Hong Kong (The mobile arm of Hutchison Telecom) notes that its 5G bases boast 10 Gbps optical-fiber networks, and expect to cover the entire region within one year. Meanwhile, HKT previously stated that it will be able to cover 11 of the city’s 18 districts. What all this means is that Hong Kong is drawing ever closer to achieving Smart City status.
CEO and Executive Director of Hutchison Telecom, Kenny Koo said that, “By combining 5G technology with artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) concept and big data, and applying the sum of the parts comprehensively, we will achieve massive connectivity and redefine mobile communications – creating a superlative all-round 5G user experience for all.”
Though the Hong Kong operators did not provide details on the exact number of bases deployed, they assert that with their combined coverage, most people within the city can enjoy extensive and affordable coverage with monthly tariff plan prices as low as 198 HKD. On top of the convenience, it also means great accessibility to lower income families, and aids with the current lockdown measures, as more people rely on operators to stay connected from home for work and study.