& cplSiteName &

PCCW Throws Spanner in Spectrum Works

Robert Clark
News Analysis
Robert Clark

It's another tangled tale from the fractious Hong Kong wireless market.

This time it is heavyweight PCCW Ltd. (NYSE: PCW; Hong Kong: 0008) suing the regulator over its scheme to take back 3G spectrum -- despite having already promised to surrender its own 3G frequencies.

The back story is that, against the wishes of the operators concerned, regulator Ofca ruled in December that it would claw back a third of all 3G spectrum when the licenses expire in October 2016.

PCCW, the dominant player in fixed-line but one of the smaller mobile operators, had been one of the most vocal critics of the plan. Just before Christmas, it moved on the city's second-largest cellco, CSL, sealing a deal to buy it for $2.43 billion. (See Spectrum Strife in Hong Kong and CSL Sale Sparks Hong Kong Speculation.)

As a sweetener, PPCW offered to hand back all of its 3G frequencies if the deal were approved.

But rivals think that is nowhere near enough. They point out that the combined PCCW-CSL outfit will own 49% of the city's 4G spectrum and 34% of the 3G airwaves, leaving an average 16.5% for each of the rest.

Executives from two operators told Light Reading they saw the PCCW suit as an attempt to pressure Ofca into hurrying its decision.

In Ofca's consultation on the CSL deal, one operator, SmarTone Telecommunications Holdings Ltd. (Hong Kong: 0315), argued that the regulator should rule PCCW as holding significant market power. The merged company would be dominant in every major segment -- fixed-line voice, broadband, pay TV, and mobile.

PCCW said in a statement that it had filed the case "in order to protect the interests" of its shareholders.

— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
Ngena's global 'network of networks' solves a problem that the telecom vendors promised us would never exist. That doesn't mean its new service isn't a really good idea.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Dell CTO: Public Cloud Is 'Way More Expensive Than Buying From Us'
Mitch Wagner, Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, Light Reading, 3/19/2018
Eurobites: Cambridge Analytica Feels the Heat
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/20/2018
IBM Faces Age Discrimination Accusations
Mitch Wagner, Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, Light Reading, 3/22/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed