HK 5G development pales in comparison with that in UK

May 21, 2019 10:28
Hong Kong has been lagging in 5G development when compared to other major cities in the world. Observers blame misjudgment on the part of government officials. Photo: Reuters

The United Kingdom will soon follow in the footsteps of South Korea and launch a 5G service.

Vodafone has announced that its 5G network will go live on July 3, and that the service will be initially available in seven cities: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London. By the end of the year, the operator plans to add 12 more cities. Vodafone will offer 5G roaming across Germany, Italy, and Spain.

Washington has been warning EU nations not to buy telecom equipment from China's Huawei. Donald Trump signed an executive order that bans the use of telecommunications equipment made by companies that are deemed a threat to national security.

However, Vodafone will reportedly stick to telecom equipment from Huawei for non-core telecommunication, while using Ericsson’s telecom products for building the 5G network.

Four 5G phones will be available for the new network: Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Xiaomi Mi MIX 5G, Huawei Mate X and Huawei Mate 20X. And a 5G home router called the 5G Gigacube will also be available.

Vodafone won its 3.4GHz spectrum license at the Ofcom 5G auction for nearly 380 million pounds. It now owns the most 5G spectrum among four leading British telecom operators.

Back in Hong Kong, the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau recently provided an update to the Legislative Council on 5G progress. 

Apparently, 5G spectrum auction won't happen until the second half of this year.

Hong Kong’s 5G development has been lagging behind that of other major cities, mainly due to misjudgment by government officials. It’s a shame.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 20

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Information Technology Federation honorary chairman