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Government clarifies decision mechanism for the assignment of frequency spectrum for 3G mobile services

In response to media enquiries on whether the arrangement for the assignment of frequency spectrum for provision of 3G mobile services (3G spectrum) is a decision of the Chief Executive (CE) in Council, a spokesman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau clarified today (November 15):

The decision on the arrangement for assignment of 3G spectrum is made under section 32H of the Telecommunications Ordinance (Cap. 106)(TO), which stipulates that the spectrum is assigned by the Communications Authority. As for the spectrum utilisation fees, it is for the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development to prescribe the method for determining through regulation made under section 32I of the TO. The above arrangement does not require a submission to or a decision by the CE in Council.

As regards the applications for domestic free television programme service (free TV) licences, section 8 and section 10 of the Broadcasting Ordinance (Cap. 562) clearly state that whether or not to grant a licence is a decision made by the CE in Council, after having considered the recommendation on the free TV licence applications by the Communications Authority.

Therefore, the decisions for the assignment of 3G spectrum and free TV licence application are made under different mechanisms.

Friday, November 15, 2013