Hutchison Telecom, Huawei start 5G preparations in Hong Kong
Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong is teaming up with network equipment supplier Huawei Technologies to upgrade the city’s mobile infrastructure in preparation for the roll-out of future 5G services.
Key technologies from Huawei are to be deployed over the next few years by 3 Hong Kong, the mobile arm of Hutchison Telecom, to boost its network capacity and coverage ahead of the release of new spectrum for 5G in the city and a universal standard for this advanced mobile system, said Hutchison Telecom chief technology officer Daniel Chung Yiu-man.
“This will provide the foundation for our future deployment of 5G services,” Chung said.
He pointed out that Hong Kong must step up its 5G preparations to keep up with other economies which have already started their development initiatives.
In response to similar calls made recently by local operators HKT, SmarTone Telecommunications and Hutchison Telecom, the Communications Authority announced last month that it plans to make available new mobile spectrum in the city to support the city’s 5G preparations.
The regulator said available spectrum in the 26-gigahertz and 28GHz bands would be the first batch of spectrum to be provided for 5G services in Hong Kong.
In a media briefing on Monday, Hutchison Telecom chief executive Cliff Woo Chiu-man said the investment in 3 Hong Kong’s planned network upgrades would not entail a significant increase in spending.
He expected Hutchison Telecom, a subsidiary of billionaire Li Ka-shing’s CK Hutchison Holdings, to record total capital expenditure ranging from HK$500 million to HK$600 million this year. Its capital spending last year reached HK$509 million.
In the second half of this year, 3 Hong Kong will complete the so-called re-farming of its 2100-megahertz spectrum to 4G to expedite 5G preparations. Its other spectrums in service – 900MHz, 1900MHz, 2300MHz and 2600MHz – are on 4G.
Zhou Yuefeng, Huawei’s chief marketing officer for wireless products, said adoption of the firm’s “cloud” technologies was “a prerequisite for the future deployment of 5G networks”.
Huawei will also work with 3 Hong Kong to deploy so-called Massive Mimo, another 5G-ready technology, by the end of this year.