Embracing the New 5G Era
“Embracing the New 5G Era” is a thematic website which aims to enhance public understanding on how the fifth generation (5G) mobile technology will change our means of communications and enable the development of various innovative applications. This website also introduces the preparatory and ongoing facilitating work carried out by the Communications Authority (CA) and the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) for the development of 5G services in Hong Kong.
Supply of new spectrum for provision of 5G services in Hong Kong
Supply of radio spectrum to the industry for the provision of 5G services is one of the CA’s key preparatory works to facilitate 5G development in Hong Kong.
The CA announced in its work plan in March 2017 the decision to make available a total of about 4 500 MHz of spectrum in multiple frequency bands for the provision of 5G services. This amount of spectrum represents more than eight times the spectrum then being assigned for public mobile services. The progress of Hong Kong in releasing the spectrum to the market is comparable to that of other advanced economies and is in line with the global target of launching 5G services in 2020 as the market has generally expected.
In mid-December 2018, the CA announced its decision on the arrangements for assignment of a total of about 4 500 MHz of spectrum suitable for deployment of 5G services. Details of the spectrum in different frequency bands released for the provision of 5G services in Hong Kong and the corresponding progress of 5G spectrum release in other advanced economies are illustrated in the table below:
Summary of Assignment Arrangements of 5G Spectrum in Various Frequency Bands
(on a sharing basis)
(on a sharing basis)
28 GHz: Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, US
(*) Any use within the restriction zones of Tai Po and Stanley shall comply with the relevant guidelines and directions issued by the CA.
Launch of 5G
Following the successful assignment of 5G spectrum in 2019/2020, the four incumbent mobile network operators have launched commercial 5G services since April 2020, marking the arrival of the 5G era in Hong Kong.
Additional Spectrum for 5G
The CA will continue to identify and make available additional spectrum suitable for the development of 5G and other innovative services in Hong Kong. Following the assignment of 80 MHz of spectrum in the 4.9 GHz band in December 2019, the CA has vacated and made available additional 80 MHz of spectrum in the 4.9 GHz band for mobile services. Further, 140 MHz of spectrum in the 600/700 MHz band will be vacated for mobile services after the switch-off of analogue television services on 30 November 2020. Public consultations were conducted in the third quarter of 2020 to prepare for release of spectrum in these bands in 2021. The CA will also invite applications for administrative assignment of the remaining 2 500 MHz of spectrum in the 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands in 2021.
Related Information: Frequency Bands and Standards for Mobile Services
Facilitating mobile network operators (MNOs) and other interested parties to conduct 5G trials
To facilitate the telecommunications industry to deploy 5G technologies effectively, OFCA has been actively encouraging and supporting the telecommunications industry to conduct various trials for 5G radio transmissions and technology applications since 2017. OFCA has been issuing trial permits with free of charge and short-term assignment of 5G spectrum in various frequency bands to MNOs and other interested parties for the conduct of technical tests using 5G radio equipment. The test results are published for public information and made available at 'Technical Reports' on the OFCA website.
Facilitating base station and
small cell installation
Similar to the development of 3G and 4G networks and services in the past, MNOs have to progressively install a large number of 5G radio base stations and small cells in various districts of Hong Kong, in order to provide 5G network coverage and capacity to support very high-speed data transmission and more diversified mobile services.
OFCA endeavours to provide necessary assistance to MNOs to facilitate their installation of base stations at government buildings and public facilities.
In parallel, OFCA will continue to ensure that the level of non-ionizing radiation of base stations and small cells are in compliance with internationally recognised safety standards and limits.