China Mobile Hong Kong users can sell unused data capacity
Operator says local customers can trade with others in 1GB units, each costing up to HK$60
China Mobile Hong Kong has launched a data exchange platform that allows customers to sell extra data capacity to other subscribers.
It is the first time such a service has been provided in Hong Kong, and one analyst said other operators might roll out similar offers.
"This sounds a creative service, and the biggest trait is flexibility," said Ricky Lai, analyst at Guotai Junan International.
China Mobile Hong Kong chairman Tiger Lin Zhenhui said its 2cm data exchange platform would give 4G Pro service plan customers the chance to trade capacity.
"Many users who subscribe to a 5-gigabyte monthly plan may not use all the data," he said.
The company said customers using the 2cm app could trade their capacity in units of 1GB, with each customer able to set their own price per unit at between HK$15 and HK$60.
The seller can adjust prices and the number of new orders at any time, while the platform will automatically search for the best deal for the buyer. Data bought from other 4G users will have to be used that month.
The 4G Pro is a tariff plan that China Mobile Hong Kong launched in September in two flavours.
If the subscriber gets a handset from the operator, the plan starts at HK$328 a month, including 1GB of data and 1,800 voice minutes.
The second plan is priced at HK$428 a month and comes with 5GB of data and unlimited local voice calls.
Lai said he expected data consumption to keep increasing because users of smart devices were accessing more information on the internet.
"For example, many people are watching movies that are free of charge on the internet," he said.
Meanwhile, parent company China Mobile is introducing a new commercial brand called "and!" on the mainland.
The world's largest wireless network operator has launched fast 4G services on the mainland after Beijing approved licences for its three leading network operators earlier this month.