Firm stand over phone licensing

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 February, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 February, 1996, 12:00am

HONG KONG needed six new mobile phone licences, even though China had suggested it was too many, a leading British official said yesterday.

British team leader at the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) Hugh Davies said the Government had not changed its position.

The Personal Communications System licences were supposed to be issued last August but have been delayed because of a lack of Chinese approval.

The system employs a technology similar to that for cellular phones, but operates at a higher frequency, giving network operators greater flexibility in designing services. Handsets also tend to be smaller and cheaper.

Before the second day of the JLG meeting, Mr Davies said the proposal was made after thorough research and the authorities were convinced there was a demand for the licences. Chinese team leader Zhao Jihua declined to comment.

After the meeting, both Mr Davies and Mr Zhao said some progress was made.

On the issue of permanent residency, Mr Zhao said this was a matter for Chinese sovereignty but they were willing to exchange views with Britain at the informal expert group. Mr Davies said Britain believed the subject had to be discussed and resolved as soon as possible.