Hong Kong to issue Wimax licenses next year

Hong Kong will next year issue licenses for Wimax and other high-speed wireless technologies.

Marion Lai, director-general of telecommunications at regulator Ofta, said the government would auction spectrum in the 2.3-2.4GHz and the 2.5-2.69GHz bands by the fourth quarter. Operators are expected to launch services in 2009.

'We are technology-neutral so winners of the auction are able to make their own decision to choose the BWA technology they like to deploy,' Lai said at the opening ceremony of the World Mobility Congress in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

She said OFTA has set aside 190 to 240 MHz of spectrum for broadband wireless access (BWA), which should be enough for at least six licenses.

But she said that the actual number of licenses would be determined by the auction and the commercial decisions of interested parties.

Ofta will release details of the pre-qualification requirements, the auction rules and the reserve price nearer the time of the auction.

The regulator will also begin soon the second round of public consultation on the licensing of mobile TV, Lai said.