HK regulator warns on too much "

Hong Kong risks losing its status as a mobile leader because of excessive industry consultation, the territory's regulator has warned.


"We can't claim that we are at the forefront in mobile services in the region or the world now," said M.H. Au, who heads the regulator Ofta.


"We should stop arguing too much over these licensing processes. We should go ahead with some of the decisions," Au said at an industry forum on Thursday, or risk "falling behind" regional competitors.


"We have been doing too many consultations. I think it's time to draw conclusions and move ahead."


Au said that when he spoke about Hong Kong at international conferences, the only area he could point to where the SAR leads is penetration rate of 124%. "Is that the only thing we can be proud of‾"


Speaking at a seminar organized by Hong KongUniversity's Telecoms Research Projects on wireless spectrum policy, Au said the industry was getting "bogged down" in argument.


Ofta has been conducting a review into how to manage spectrum allocation since the government handed down a consultation paper last year.  At the same time Ofta has also been trying to introduce licenses for broadband wireless technologies such as Wimax.


Another speaker at the forum,  Charles Henshaw, CEO of wireless operator Peoples Telephone, agreed with Au that there had been too much consultation.


However, Stuart Chiron, director of regulatory affairs at incumbent PCCW, said it was important to complete the policy review before allocating spectrum, saying that investors would not enter the market without knowing the rules.