Hong Kong - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Hong Kong’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband and converging media sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Regional market comparisons - BuddeComm's Telecom Maturity Index
  • Major players;
  • Market statistics, including for operators;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Convergence and Digital Media;
  • Forecasts to 2022 for mobile, mobile broadband and fixed broadband.

Reseracher:- Phil Harpur
Current publication date:- March 2018 (24th Edition)

Executive Summary

Hong Kong moves forward in its quest to become a Smart City

Hong Kong’s small size and high population density has enabled the country to extensively rollout fixed broadband infrastructure and provide almost all households with access to high-speed broadband connectivity. This has propelled Hong Kong to boast the highest peak average broadband speeds in the world.

Hong Kong is ranked 2nd out of 34 with an Asian Telecoms Maturity Index score of 90. This places Hong Kong 2nd in the “Market Leaders” category. (BuddeComm’s “Asian Telecoms Maturity Index”, is an index (on a scale between 0 and 100) that measures and ranks the relative maturity of the telecoms industry in all of the 34 countries in Asia.) Compared to other Asian nations, Hong Kong has very high mobile, mobile broadband and fixed broadband penetration.

International internet connectivity continues to grow, driven by Hong Kong’s status as an international financial hub and its location next to China.

Fixed line growth in Hong Kong has declined over the past five years as consumers migrate to wireless voice and data services. This trend is predicted to continue over the next five years to 2022.

The government has taken steps towards coordinated development of a smart city. The Hong Kong government announced a range of measures in six areas, including “Smart Mobility”, “Smart Living”, and “Smart Environment”, which will be introduced over the next five years to 2022.

Broadband investment initially focused on DSL and HFC technology platforms although operators have switched focus to higher bandwidth fibre access platforms, due to inherent advantage of fibre access networks over competing platforms, especially in the geographically compact territory of Hong Kong.

Fixed-line broadband market penetration has grown slowly over the past five years in a highly mature market. Over the next five years to 2022 growth is expected to continue to increase slowly.

Demand for broadband is driven by consumption of bandwidth-intensive online services such as OTT video, music and games; the proliferation of Internet connected devices including TVs, smartphones, tablets and PCs; and increasing usage of corporate broadband services that include cloud services and software.

Hong Kong possesses a small but well developed mobile market and a number of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). Intense competition within a small market has led to consolidation, with the number of mobile network operators reduced to four.

Mobile subscriber penetration is now well over 200% due to the high number of tourists visiting Hong Kong and high number of local residents with more than one mobile device. Mobile subscriber growth is expected to be relatively low over the next five years to 2022 due to a highly mature and highly competitive market.

Strong infrastructure-based competition has forced operators to continually upgrade network capacity and speed, deploying mobile broadband technologies such as HSPA and LTE combined with wireless broadband technologies such as WiFi.

Mobile broadband subscriber growth is expected to be relatively low over the next five years to 2022 due to a highly mature mobile subscriber market, with a significant proportion of subscribers already having mobile broadband access.

The government of Hong Kong expects the territory to be among the world’s earliest adopters of 5G mobile technology in 2020. During 2017 /2018 a number of Hong Kong Mobile Operators are paving the way for the introduction of 5G services.

Key developments:

  • HGC Global Communications is looking to 5G as a key opportunity for its fibre business.
  • HKT has set up a “one-stop Internet of Things ecosystem” with multiple connectivity technologies in Hong Kong.
  • Fixed line growth in Hong Kong has declined over the past five years. This trend will continue over the next five years to 2022.
  • Hong Kong expects the territory to be among the world’s earliest adopters of 5G mobile technology in 2020.
  • SmarTone trialled FDD Massive MIMO technology with Ericsson as part of its development plans towards 5G services.
  • Mobile broadband subscriber growth is expected to be relatively low over the next five years to 2022

Companies mentioned in this report:

PCCW; HKT; CSL; Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN); Hutchison Telecom Hong Kong, i-Cable, HGC Global Communications.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key statistics
  • 2. Telecommunications market
    • 2.1 Market Overview and Analysis
    • 2.2 Regional Asian Market Comparison
  • 3. Regulatory environment
    • 3.1 Historical overview
    • 3.2 Regulatory authority
    • 3.3 OFCA (Office of the Communications Authority)
    • 3.4 Government policies
      • 3.4.1 Telecom Sector Liberalisation
      • 3.4.2 Universal Service Obligation (USO)
      • 3.4.3 Digital 21 IT Strategy
      • 3.4.4 FttB/FttH building registration scheme
      • 3.4.5 Number Portability (NP)
  • 4. Fixed network operators
    • 4.1 Introduction
    • 4.2 Hong Kong Telecom (HKT)
      • 4.2.1 Company overview
      • 4.2.2 Company background
    • 4.3 Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN)
    • 4.4 Hutchison Telecom Hong Kong Holdings (HTHKH)
      • 4.4.1 Company overview
      • 4.4.2 Company background
    • 4.5 HGC Global Communications
    • 4.6 i-Cable
  • 5. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 5.1 Overview of the national telecom network
      • 5.1.1 Fixed-line statistics
    • 5.2 International infrastructure
      • 5.2.1 Submarine cable networks
    • 5.3 Specific IT developments
      • 5.3.1 Data Centres
    • 5.4 Smart infrastructure
      • 5.4.1 Introduction
      • 5.4.2 IoT
      • 5.4.3 Smart Grids
      • 5.4.4 Smart Cities
  • 6. Broadband market
    • 6.1 Market Overview and Analysis
    • 6.2 Fixed Broadband Statistics and Forecasts
    • 6.3 Fixed Broadband Service Providers
    • 6.4 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
    • 6.5 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Networks
    • 6.6 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
      • 6.6.1 Overview
      • 6.6.2 Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN)
      • 6.6.3 HKT
      • 6.6.4 i-Cable
    • 6.7 Other fixed broadband services
      • 6.7.1 WiFi
  • 7. Digital economy
    • 7.1 Introduction
    • 7.2 E-Commerce
    • 7.3 E-Payments
    • 7.4 E-Government
      • 7.4.1 E-government statistics
      • 7.4.2 E-Government Infrastructure Services (EGIS)
      • 7.4.3 E-government network
      • 7.4.4 Smart Card
    • 7.5 E-Health
      • 7.5.1 Overview of Hong Kong’s healthcare system
      • 7.5.2 ICT usage in Hong Kong’s healthcare system
      • 7.5.3 Electronic Health Record
      • 7.5.4 Improving the accuracy of drug dispensing
    • 7.6 E-Education
  • 8. Digital media
    • 8.1 Introduction
    • 8.2 Pay TV
    • 8.3 Key Digital Media Players
      • 8.3.1 PCCW
      • 8.3.2 i-cable
      • 8.3.3 Television Broadcasts Ltd (TVB)
      • 8.3.4 Asia Television Ltd (ATV)
    • 8.4 Hybrid fibre coax cable (HFC) and microwave multipoint distribution system (MMDS)
    • 8.5 Internet Protocol TV (IPTV)
    • 8.6 Analogue transmission
    • 8.7 Digital terrestrial transmission
    • 8.8 Videostreaming
    • 8.9 Social Media
    • 8.10 Communications: VoIP, messaging, conferencing
    • 8.11 Music
      • 8.11.1 Introduction
      • 8.11.2 Major players
  • 9. Mobile communications
    • 9.1 Market Overview and analysis
      • 9.1.1 Background
    • 9.2 Mobile Statistics and Forecasts
    • 9.3 Mobile Broadband Statistics and Forecasts
    • 9.4 Regulatory issues
      • 9.4.1 Licensing
      • 9.4.2 Spectrum
      • 9.4.3 Mobile number portability (MNP)
    • 9.5 Mobile infrastructure
      • 9.5.1 Analogue networks
      • 9.5.2 Digital networks
      • 9.5.3 Other infrastructure developments
      • 9.5.4 IoT and M2M Networks
    • 9.6 Major mobile operators
      • 9.6.1 Operator Statistics
      • 9.6.2 Hong Kong Telecom (HKT)
      • 9.6.3 Hutchison Telekom (3 Hutchison)
      • 9.6.4 SmarTone
      • 9.6.5 China Mobile Hong Kong
      • 9.6.6 Mobile virtual network operators (MVNO)
    • 9.7 Mobile content and applications
      • 9.7.1 m-Banking
      • 9.7.2 m-Trading
      • 9.7.3 m-TV
      • Table 1 – Country statistics Hong Kong – 2017 (e)
      • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2017 (e)
      • Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2017 (e)
      • Table 4 – Broadband statistics – 2017 (e)
      • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2017 (e)
      • Table 6 – National telecommunications authorities
      • Table 7 – Percentage of Population Covered by Type of Mobile Network
      • Table 8 – Key Metrics - Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) - 2017 - 2022
      • Table 9 – Digital 21 Strategy – key indicators
      • Table 10 – Historic - Total fixed numbers ported – 2005 - 2016
      • Table 11 – HKBN – broadband subscribers (thousands) – business v. residential - 2013 – 2017
      • Table 12 – i-Cable subscribers per service – 2008 - 2017
      • Table 13 – Fixed Line Subscriptions and Penetration – 2007 - 2017
      • Table 14 – Historic - Fixed-line telephony subscribers – 2000 - 2015
      • Table 15 – International bandwidth – 2012 - 2017
      • Table 16 – Fixed Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2007 - 2022
      • Table 17 – Internet Users and Penetration – 2007 - 2017
      • Table 18 – Historic - Fixed broadband internet access subscribers – 2000 - 2016
      • Table 19 – Historic - Residential broadband subscriptions by technology platform – 2010 - 2016
      • Table 20 – Historic - Residential broadband ARPU – 2010 - 2016
      • Table 21 – HKT - broadband subscribers (thousands)– 2007 - 2017
      • Table 22 – Hong Kong Broadband – residential broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2017
      • Table 23 – HKT – total broadband subscribers (millions) – 2011 – 2017
      • Table 24 – HKT – fibre broadband subscribers – 2003 – 2017
      • Table 25 – Number of public WiFi access point and WiFi zones – 2007 - 2016
      • Table 26 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2007 - 2022
      • Table 27 – Historic - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration – 1984 – 2006
      • Table 28 – Historic - Prepaid and activated SIM cards – 1997 - 2015
      • Table 29 – Historic - 3G/4G mobile subscribers – 2005 - 2016
      • Table 30 – Historic - Mobile data usage per person – 2005 - 2015
      • Table 31 – Historic - SMS messages sent and received – 2002 – 2015
      • Table 32 – Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 - 2022
      • Table 33 – Historic - Total mobile numbers ported
      • Table 34 – Mobile operators - subscribers and market share – 2017
      • Table 35 – HKT - prepaid and postpaid subscribers – 2005 - 2017
      • Table 36 – HKT financial data - (HK$ million) – 2016 - 2017
      • Table 37 – 3 Hutchison - mobile subscribers – 1998 - 2017
      • Table 38 – Historic – 3 Hutchison - mobile subscribers 2G and 3G postpaid and total
      • Table 39 – 3 Hutchison – Services Revenue – 2016 - 2017
      • Table 40 – 3 Hutchison - postpaid ARPU, AMPU and churn – 2010 – 2017
      • Table 41 – SmarTone financial data – 2009 - 2017
      • Table 42 – SmarTone – Blended ARPU – 2002 - 2017
      • Table 43 – SmarTone subscribers – 1998 - 2017
      • Table 44 – SmarTone spectrum holdings – January 2015
      • Table 45 – China Mobile Hong Kong – Mobile Services Revenue – 2016 - 2017
      • Table 46 – China Mobile Hong Kong - subscribers and annual change – 1998 - 2017
      • Table 47 – Historic - MVNO subscribers – 2005 – 2016
      • Chart 1 – Mobile, Mobile Broadband & Fixed Broadband Penetration – 2017; 2022
      • Chart 2 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index by Market Category
      • Chart 3 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index – Northern Asia
      • Chart 4– Asian Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
      • Chart 5– Fixed Broadband vs Mobile Penetration - Northern Asia (selected countries)
      • Chart 6 – Fixed Line Subscriptions and Penetration – 2007 - 2017
      • Chart 7 – Fixed Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2007 - 2022
      • Chart 8 – Internet Users and Penetration – 2007 - 2017
      • Chart 9 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2007 - 2022
      • Chart 10 – Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 - 2022
      • Exhibit 1 – Key Market Characteristics by Market Segment
      • Exhibit 2 – Northern Asia -Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country
      • Exhibit 3 – Major submarine cables with landing points in Hong Kong
      • Exhibit 4 – Popular online activities
      • Exhibit 5 – Advantages of e-learning
      • Exhibit 6 – Transmission modes employed by TV licensees
      • Exhibit 7 –TV broadcasting licensees
      • Exhibit 8 – Radio broadcasting licensees
      • Exhibit 9 – HTHKH frequency allocations – June 2015

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