Hong Kong gets ready for 5G battle

June 19, 2019 10:53
Hong Kong's telecom operators are bracing for a new battle as the 5G era unfolds. Photo: HKEJ

5G services are getting rolled out in many places in the world, and telecom operators are racing against each other to take a lead in the unfolding era. Hong Kong, too, is witnessing some activity.

HKT, SmarTone and China Mobile Hong Kong have been assigned spectrum in the 26-GHz and 28-GHz frequency bands for 5G use. All the three firms have announced that they are getting ready for a 5G service to test the market response.

HKT held a 5G Tech Carnival at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal last week. The four-day carnival offered exhibitions, an interactive demonstration zone, concerts, etc.

The exhibition area showcased 5G and smart city and business solutions, as well as fintech and smart living themes.

“This is the first carnival on 5G in Hong Kong, which allows us to step into the future. 5G and other new technologies enable people to enjoy smarter and greener lives. Businesses can improve efficiency and offer better customer experience, which will in turn improve life quality of everyone,” said Hui Hon-hing, group managing director of HKT.

Some might say that the existing 4G service is good enough. Why spend so much money to develop 5G technology?

But we should bear in mind that 5G service does not only mean faster speed. It would help connect more smart devices and sensors. It’s a key step for developing Internet of Things and Internet of Vehicles.

Moreover, 5G is the neural hub of smart city. Hong Kong government has been talking about smart city development for years. But the city has lagged behind. Hopefully, the government will listen to the needs of the public and the telecom industry to form a more effective 5G policy.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Jun 18

Translation by Julie Zhu with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Information Technology Federation honorary chairman