Hong Kong auctions extra mobile spectrum

Hong Kong regulator Ofta will auction additional 3G and 4G spectrum in February, to help meet “booming” demand for mobile data.
It has put 30 MHz on the block with a minimum price of HK$30 million (€2.9 million) for paired 850 and 900MHz bands, and a HK$15 million minimum for 2GHz bands.
The spectrum is needed to cope with a sharp rise in the number of mobile data users in the city, which has doubled from 2.9 million in December 2007 to 5.8 million in July 2010, Ofta stated.
Mobile data usage has risen 38 times to 1.2TB during that period.
The winning bidders will be granted 15-year licenses and be required to provide coverage to at least 50% of the population within five years.
One of the 850-900 MHz frequency bands is to be shared with railway operators for the communications and control of a planned high-speed rail to Guangzhou.
Ofta issued an information paper on the auction, which will be held after Chinese New Year.
It will accept applications from bidders on January 31 and February 1.