General

  1. This web site provides general information to parties who are interested in bringing new submarine cables to Hong Kong and covers the following major areas:
  2. The Office of the Communications Authority ("OFCA") provides a single-point-of-contact service to assist parties who are interested in obtaining statutory approvals for laying submarine cables and landing them at an existing CLS, or to build a new CLS. They are welcome to contact the subject officer whose contact is given below:

    Office of the Communications Authority
    29/F, Wu Chung House
    213, Queen's Road East
    Wanchai
    Hong Kong
    (Attn.: Senior Telecommunications Engineer, Regulatory Section 12)

    Telephone Telephone : (852) 2961 6683
    Fax Fax : (852) 2591 0316
    Email Email :

    Background Information

  3. Since the liberalization of external facilities-based telecommunications market on 1 January 2000, Hong Kong has been adopting an open licensing regime i.e. there is no limit on the number of external fixed licences that the Communications Authority (“CA”) will issue. Moreover, Hong Kong does not impose any foreign ownership restriction on the licensees.
  4. As at November 2016, Hong Kong has ten submarine cable systems, namely, Asia-America Gateway Cable System ("AAG"), Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 ("APCN-2"), Asia Pacific Gateway (“APG”), Asia Submarine-Cable Express ("ASE"), EAC - C2C, FLAG Europe Asia ("FEA"), FLAG North Asia Loop ("FNAL") / REACH North Asia Loop ("RNAL"), Sea-Me-We 3 ("SMW3"), South-East Asia Japan Cable System ("SJC") and TGN-Intra Asia Cable System ("TGN-IA"). Several other systems are being planned.
  5. There are eight submarine CLS in Hong Kong (please see the Map below). Two CLS are at Tong Fuk, three are at Tseung Kwan O and the other three are at Deep Water Bay, Chung Hom Kok and Cape D'Aguilar.

    Locations of Cable Landing Stations

    Locations of Cable Landing Stations

                                                                            Legend of Cable Landing Stations
  6. For provision of cable-based external fixed service (see remark 1), an interested party is required to obtain a UCL (External) from the CA. Details on how to apply for such a licence is given in the "Information Note on Licensing Arrangement for External Cable Operators". Apart from leasing capacity on existing submarine cables for provision of service, a holder of UCL (External) (the "Operator") may also choose to land their own cables in Hong Kong, either by using an existing CLS or building a new CLS. The contact information of the existing CLS operators is as follows:
    China Mobile International Limited
    Address : Level 30, Tower 1, Kowloon Commerce Centre
    51 Kwai Cheong Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories, Hong Kong
    Telephone : (852) 3975 6790
    Fax : (852) 3188 1651
    Email :
    Website : www.cmi.chinamobile.com
    FLAG Telecom Asia Limited
    Address : Suite 3901-02, 39/F, Lippo Centre, Tower Two
    89 Queensway, Hong Kong
    Telephone : (852) 2848 0051
    Fax : (852) 2848 0081
    Email :
    Website : www.globalcloudxchange.com
    GB21 (Hong Kong) Limited                        
    Address : Rural Building Lot 1154, Teleport,
    Chung Hom Kok, Hong Kong
    Telephone : (65) 6838 3712
    Fax : (65) 6738 5549
    Email :
    NTT Com Asia Limited                       
    Address : 6 Chun Kwong Street, Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate,
    New Territories, Hong Kong
    Telephone : (852) 3793 0149
    Fax : (852) 2918 0800
    Email :
    Website : www.hk.ntt.com
    Pacnet Global (HK) Limited                                               
    Address : Pacnet Singapore, 10 Eunos Road 8,
    #08-01 Singapore Post Centre, Singapore 408600
    Telephone : (65) 6591 9839
    Fax : (65) 6591 9893
    Email :
    Website : www.pacnet.com
    Reach Networks Hong Kong Limited and Reach Cable Networks Limited
    Address : 6/F, Hermes House, 10 Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    Telephone : (852) 2809 0288
    Fax : (852) 2962 5683
    Email :
    Website : www.reach.com
  7. Operators may have the operational requirement to construct a ring network interconnecting two or more CLS, or to connect a CLS with a data centre located elsewhere. To connect the various locations concerned, there is a need for the Operators to install and lay cables in the public streets and over public land. They may procure the service from Unified Carrier Licensees and Fixed Carrier Licensees who are authorized to provide local fixed services. Alternatively, the Operators may consider applying to the CA for self-provisioning of their own backhaul facilities. As the name implies, self-provisioned backhaul facilities are not to be used by any third party.
  8. Relevant information concerning application for UCL (External), sharing of CLS, and the statutory approvals required for laying submarine cables and landing them at CLS is provided below.

    Application Procedures and Requirements for UCL (External)

  9. The "Information Note on Licensing Arrangement for External Cable Operators" is to assist interested parties in filing applications for the UCL (External). The Note outlines the application procedures, application requirements, broad licensing criteria and other information relevant to the application. There is no limit on the number of licences to be issued, or applications that the CA may process each year. The applications will be considered as and when they are received.
  10. While there is no prescribed format for the applications, they should be submitted under confidential cover and reach the CA at the following address. Please submit an electronic copy and two printed copies.

    Office of the Communications Authority
    29/F, Wu Chung House
    213, Queen's Road East
    Wanchai
    Hong Kong
    (Attn.: Head, Regulatory 2)

    Email :

    Landing of Cables at Existing CLS

  11. Shared use of the existing CLS is permitted subject to the terms and conditions of the land grant, lease conditions and relevant statutory requirements. At present, space is available in some of the existing CLS for landing of new submarine cables. Interested parties may approach OFCA for more details and should directly negotiate with the CLS operators concerned for using the space and facilities. OFCA would provide assistance to facilitate their negotiations if the situation warrants.

    Land and Facilities for Setting up New CLS

  12. Vacant land at the Chung Hom Kok Teleport site has been set aside for the development of external telecommunications stations (see remark 2). Cable landing facilities at the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate may also be made available subject to the approval of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation ("HKSTP").
  13. Interested parties who wish to apply for use of the above-mentioned land or facilities to set up new CLS may contact OFCA (see paragraphs 2, 16 and 17 about the single-point-of-contact service offered by OFCA). Alternatively, they may also submit their applications direct to the Lands Department (for land at the Chung Hom Kok Teleport site) or the HKSTP (for cable landing facilities at the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate). The contact information of the Lands Department and HKSTP is as follows:
    District Lands Office / Hong Kong West and South
    Lands Department
    Address : 20/F, Southorn Centre,
    130 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
    Telephone : (852) 2835 1552
    Fax : (852) 2833 1945
    Email :
    Website : www.landsd.gov.hk
    Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation
    Address : 8/F, Bio-Informatics Centre,
    2 Science Park West Avenue,
    Hong Kong Science Park,
    Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong
    Telephone : (852) 2629 1818
    Fax : (852) 2629 1833 / (852) 2664 2481
    Email :
    Website : www.hkstp.org

    Statutory Approvals for Laying of Submarine Cables and Landing at CLS

  14. There are established procedures and steps for obtaining approvals for laying submarine cables or building a new CLS. Details are given in the document "Information Note for External Fixed Carriers to Apply for Statutory Approvals for Laying of Submarine Cable and Landing at Cable Landing Station". Interested parties may make use of OFCA's single-point-of-contact service (see paragraphs 2, 16 and 17 below). They may also send their applications direct to the relevant authorities.

    Site Sharing and Co-location of CLS with ADC

  15. Sharing of existing CLS with ADC (see remark 3) to support the submarine cable business may be permitted subject to the terms and conditions of the land grant, lease conditions and relevant statutory requirements. In the event of competing demand for space in the existing CLS, priority will be given to expansion of the submarine cable systems already landed at the CLS and landing of new submarine cable systems.

    Single-Point-of-Contact Service

  16. As set out in paragraph 2, OFCA provides a single-point-of-contact service to assist interested parties in applying for use of land and cable landing facilities to set up new CLS and statutory approvals for laying submarine cables and landing at CLS.
  17. Applicants may submit their applications together with the supporting information to OFCA, which will provide a centralized contact point coordinating the applicants with the relevant government departments and parties, such as Lands Department, Marine Department, HKSTP, Town Planning Board and Environmental Protection Department. While OFCA will offer appropriate assistance to the applicants during the process, the applicants shall be responsible for their applications and securing the necessary statutory approvals. They should provide the relevant government departments and parties with necessary information in a timely manner, and comply with the procedures and requirements that are laid down by these government departments and parties.
  18. Submarine Cable Repair within the Hong Kong Waters

  19. There are procedures in applying for the necessary statutory approvals required by relevant government departments. Details are given in the document "Information Note on Applying for Required Government Permits/Approvals/Visas to Carry out Works Related to Submarine Cable Systems within Hong Kong Waters".

Remarks:

  1. Some of the existing fixed carrier licensees are also allowed to provide cable-based external fixed service. With the implementation of the UCL from 1 August 2008, the CA will no longer issue the fixed carrier licence and fixed telecommunications network services licence. New applicants are required to apply for the UCL (External) for the provision of cable-based external fixed service.
  2. One of the lots is used for CLS and another is used for satellite earth station. Some other lots are being used for non-telecommunications purpose on a temporary basis.
  3. ADC is a data centre which is mainly used to handle external traffic carried by the submarine cable systems landed at the relevant CLS.