27 February 2020

SmarTone calls for close downstream eye on HKT

Hong Kong telco SmarTone Mobile Communications Ltd. (00315.HK) has called for tough downstream regulation of HKT (06823.HK) as its takeover of rival CSL New World Mobility Limited (CSLNW) stands to make it the city’s largest telecom operator.

The merged entity will have substantial market power, which may amount to a monopoly, SmarTone CEO Douglas Li said Wednesday. There should be more downstream regulation to protect consumers and avoid unfair competitive advantages such as bundling of phone and internet services, Li said.

He said regulators should reduce HKT’s spectrum if it threatens to crowd out other competitors.

Despite a failed attempt at a judicial review, Li also said it was unfair of the Communications Authority to order it to disclose parts of its 4G contract with Apple Inc. to HKT’s top management.

The authority issued the order after HKT’s PCCW Ltd. (00008.HK) complained that Apple Inc. had barred iPhone 5 users from accessing its 4G services when the new mobile model was launched in Hong Kong in September.

– Contact HKEJ at [email protected]