China Mobile, the world's largest wireless network operator, plans to secure more radio spectrum in Hong Kong to expand its local and cross-border operation of high-speed mobile services.
The Beijing-based company, which had 703.47 million mobile subscribers as of October 31, expects to take part in the Hong Kong government's auction in the first quarter next year of radio frequency licences to operate 4G mobile services in the 2.5-gigahertz-to-2.6GHz bands.
It also plans to submit a bid for available 3G radio spectrum. The government is considering several options on how radio spectrum in the 1.9GHz to 2.2GHz bands will be assigned when the existing 3G frequency assignments expire in October 2016.
"Both these [future] bids are significantly important to our business," China Mobile International chairman and chief executive Tiger Lin Zhenhui said yesterday.
China Mobile International, a subsidiary of China Mobile, was established in December 2010 to oversee the carrier's operations outside the mainland.
Its local unit, China Mobile Hong Kong, has been active in acquiring 4G frequency licences in the city.
In January 2009, China Mobile Hong Kong paid HK$494.7 million to acquire a chunk of spectrum in the 2.6GHz band to start developing its city network. It paid HK$170 million in February to add radio spectrum in the 2.3GHz band for this network, which was unveiled in April.
Based on technology called Long Term Evolution (LTE), 4G networks have theoretical web download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second. The fastest 3G networks run at 42Mbps.