Changes in spectrum policy always have huge consequences. So it is no surprise that four incumbent Hong Kong 3G network operators warn of dire consequences if the Hong Kong regulator proceeds with a plan to reassign some 3G spectrum whose licenses expire in October 2016.
SmarTone Telecommunications, CSL, Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong and PCCW's HKT argue that the government must follow long-standing industry practice and automatically renew their 3G spectrum licences on the 2.1-gigahertz band.
Regulators want to put up some of the spectrum for another auction process. The plan calls for taking away about 33 percent of the 3G spectrum at 2.1GHz from each of the four incumbent 3G mobile operators for re-auctioning when the spectrum assignment period expires in 2016.
China Mobile, the world's largest wireless network operator, has expressed interest in bidding for the re-assigned spectrum. Some immediately will suggest that is the real reason for the spectrum plan.