TELECOM & INTERNET | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong gears for 5G rollout in 2020

Around 1,000 government premises will open for applications.

The Office of Communications Authority will begin auctions for spectrums in the 3.3GHz, 3.5GHz, and 4.9GHz bands to prepare for the commercial launch of 5G services in 2020, an announcement revealed.

Office of the Communications Authority Assistant Director Sandra Cheuk said that 1,000 government premises will be opened up for applications by mobile networks.

“This year, the government will make available a total of 4,500 MHz spectrum for 5G services. Taking into account the time needed to implement 5G networks, we expect to have 5G services rolled out and fully launched in Hong Kong in 2020,” she added.

Last March, the government assigned spectrums in the 26GHz and 28GHz bands to 5G rollout.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute recently received the green light from the Transport Department to conduct autonomous or self-driving vehicle trials for 5G research purposes.

“The first scenario is without pedestrians to see whether the autonomous vehicle will be able to recognise the pedestrian line,” said Vincent Hou, communications technologies senior manager of the institute. “The vehicle is supposed to slow down and stop in front of the pedestrian road. Another scenario assumes there is a pedestrian that jump out on to the road or walks along the road and how the autonomous vehicle is going to react to the scenario.”

5G networks surpass 4G networks in terms of download and loading speed. Downloading a two-hour HD video, for example, will theoretically only take 10 seconds in 5G compared to the current 3 minutes in 4G. It also has minimum latency requirement, only taking four milliseconds to one millisecond to send and receive data from the cell tower.

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