& cplSiteName &

PCCW Throws Spanner in Spectrum Works

Robert Clark
News Analysis
Robert Clark
2/17/2014
50%
50%

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
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
'Brutal' Automation & the Looming Workforce Cull
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/18/2017
Is US Lurching Back to Monopoly Status?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Pai's FCC Raises Alarms at Competitive Carriers
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Worried About Bandwidth for 4K? Here Comes 8K!
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 10/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Selfie Game Strong Click Here
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives