CTM hopes govt can grant 5G licences next year

Telecom operator CTM CEO Vandy Poon Fuk Hei said Thursday his company hopes the government will be able to start granting 5G licences next year so that his company could start the city’s 5G network service in 2020 in line with neighbouring regions.

Telecom operator CTM CEO Vandy Poon Fuk Hei said Thursday his company hopes the government will be able to start granting 5G licences next year so that his company could start the city’s 5G network service in 2020 in line with neighbouring regions.

Poon made the remarks during a press conference held at the Macau Science Centre in Nape about the progress of testing its 5G network, which began this month.

According to Poon, the download speed using a 5G network would be 100 times faster than that of a 4G network. Other key elements of the fifth generation of wireless communication are low latency and the feasibility of mass connections.
Poon said that 5G would also ultimately support Macau’s development as a smart city.

Poon pointed out that as the local standards for 5G were completed in June, phones supporting the 5G network would be available next year.

According to yesterday’s presentation, CTM plans to apply for a 5G licence next year to start setting up the network so that its 5G service could be operational in 2020, around the same time as in neighbouring regions.

However, in order to meet the 2020 target, Poon said that the government would have to start rolling out 5G licences next year to give operators time to set up the network.

“CTT [Macau Post and Telecommunications Bureau] has said that it will start the converged telecoms concession in 2019 including 5G, and if they launch the 5G licence first, and then the convergence concession later, we’ll coordinate,” Poon said, pointing out that the government should also free up the bands that are currently occupied by satellite television to create enough resources for 5G network development which is supported by those bands.

Satellite television is a service that delivers television programming to viewers by relaying it from a communications satellite orbiting the Earth directly to the viewer’s location.
CTT officials said early this year that separate licences will not be required for the provision of future 5G mobile services, with the technology to be included in an updated converged telecoms concession.

As to how much CTM plans to invest in the launch of 5G, Poon said it was too early to say as the matter was still in its research and development phase, adding that the amount won’t be reflected in their financial report this year.