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Public consultation on reduction of telecommunications licence fees

The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau and the Communications Authority today (June 29) jointly issued a consultation paper to invite views from the telecommunications industry and the public on the proposed reduction of licence fees for the unified carrier licence (UCLs), the services-based operator (SBO) licence (Class 3), and the public radiocommunications service (PRS) licence (Paging).

The proposal is to reduce the annual licence fees for these three types of licences from $8 to $7 for each customer connection/mobile station. All fixed and mobile operators holding UCLs, paging operators holding PRS licences, and mobile virtual network operators holding SBO licences will benefit from the proposal.

The proposed licence fee reductions have taken into account the continual growth of customer connections/mobile stations in recent years and the cost incurred by the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) in administering the licences. According to the records of the OFCA, the number of customer connections/mobile stations under these three types of licences has increased by 6.3 per cent from 14.4 million in 2010-11 to 15.3 million in 2011-12, and it is anticipated that the growth trend will continue.

Subject to the response to the consultation exercise and the necessary legislative amendments, it is anticipated that the proposed licence fee reductions will take effect from March 1, 2013.

The public consultation paper can be downloaded from the following websites: www.cedb.gov.hk/ctb or www.coms-auth.hk .

Public views on the consultation paper should be sent by post to the Office of the Communications Authority, 29/F, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, or by fax to 2803 5111, or by e-mail to bettytse@ofca.gov.hk on or before July 30, 2012.

Friday, June 29, 2012