Chapter 4 Managing the Radio Spectrum and Sustaining Technical Excellence
Imposition of SUF on Administratively-assigned Spectrum in Congested Bands
Promulgated by the Government in April 2007, the Radio Spectrum Policy Framework stipulates that SUF applies in principle to all non-government use of the radio spectrum. The objective of imposing SUF on administratively-assigned spectrum is to facilitate the most economically and socially efficient use of radio spectrum in order to maximise the benefits to the community. Following the completion of the public consultation on the proposed charging scheme in February 2011, the SCED and the then Telecommunications Authority issued a joint statement on the way forward in September 2011. It was announced that eight frequency bands used for fixed links, electronic news gathering/outside-broadcast links and satellite uplinks had been identified as congested bands, and the use of spectrum in these frequency bands would be subject to SUF payment. To implement the scheme, the Government is preparing the necessary amendments to the subsidiary legislation under the TO.
Administration of the Hong Kong Telecommunications Equipment Evaluation and Certification Scheme
To keep pace with international best practices, commencing 1 October 2009, the testing and certification services for telecommunications equipment, which were previously provided by the then Office of the Telecommunications Authority, were transferred to qualified local testing laboratories. Laboratories accredited by the CA as local certification bodies (“LCBs”) can offer a full range of telecommunications equipment-testing and certification services. In 2014/15, the LCBs issued 526 equipment certificates to meet the needs of the telecommunications equipment market.
To ensure that all LCBs providing telecommunications equipment-testing and certification services meet the service quality and performance standards prescribed by OFCA, we will continue to closely monitor their performance by conducting documentary checks, plant visits and reviews on a regular basis. So far, all LCBs have been performing up to the standards prescribed by OFCA.
We constantly monitor international developments in telecommunications standardisation, and update local technical standards in order to meet the needs of the industry and the public. In 2014/15, a total of four papers were issued to consult the industry on matters related to standardisation, and seven new or revised technical standards were approved and issued by the CA.
Frequency assignment of In-building Co-axial Cable Distribution System channels
In 2014/15, OFCA assisted the CA in conducting the assessment of applications submitted by TVB Network Vision and Hong Kong Cable Television Limited for conversion to UCLs. In both cases, the operators were permitted to carry over the In-building Coaxial Cable Distribution System channels assigned to them via their new UCLs.
Frequency Band Planning for the Introduction of New Applications
To meet the demand of the industry and the public for new applications that require the use of radio spectrum, we constantly monitor overseas developments of spectrum management and progress of related technology advancement, with a view to allocating timely new frequency bands to facilitate the introduction of these applications. In 2014/15, we studied the frequency band planning of the bands 57-66 GHz, 71-76 GHz/81-86 GHz and 76-81 GHz. The three frequency bands may be used for deployment of short-range devices, fixed links and automotive radars respectively.
Management of Spectrum and Orbital Positions for Satellite Networks
Satellite spectrum and orbital positions are limited natural resources. We undertake the work to ensure that use of these resources by communications satellites registered in Hong Kong adheres to the international process of the International Telecommunication Union (“ITU”). Following the launch of two new satellites ASIASAT 6 and ASIASAT 8 in 2014, there were nine satellites in orbit operated by two Hong Kong companies licensed to provide satellite communications services.