Date
13 November 2019
Full 5G coverage is fundamental to building Hong Kong into a smart city and the introduction of services based on technologies such as Internet of Things. Photo: Reuters
Full 5G coverage is fundamental to building Hong Kong into a smart city and the introduction of services based on technologies such as Internet of Things. Photo: Reuters

Ending analogue TV service will free up more spectrum for 5G

Hong Kong government announced last week that it would terminate analogue television services on November 30, 2020. This move will affect around 180,000 TV viewers.

Why the sudden decision?

The way I see it, authorities hope to clear out the spectrum of 617-803 MHz band, of which 160 MHz will be allocated to improve the indoor mobile telecommunications services, in particular hotspots like the underground railway.

Government will decide the spectrum allocation details after completing the public consultation within this year. It remains unclear whether authorities will auction the spectrum or allocate to telecom operators to enhance existing telecoms services such as 5G.

The move is a very positive sign for 5G development.

The other 20 MHz spectrum freed up will be used for outdoor telecoms service, but that may not be enough to support more than two telecom operators, and the speed may also be restricted.

Hopefully, Guangdong province will also end the analogue TV service in the future, freeing up more spectrum for 5G use.

Full 5G coverage is fundamental to building Hong Kong into a smart city and the introduction of services based on technologies such as Internet of Things and Internet of Vehicles.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb 19

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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RC

Hong Kong Information Technology Federation honorary chairman