SmarTone

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SmarTone Telecommunications Holdings Limited
Mobile telecommunication
Industry Mobile broadband services and fixed fibre broadband services
Founded 1992
Headquarters Hong Kong
Key people

Raymond KWOK Ping-luen, Chairman & Non-Executive Director

Anna YIP, CEO & Executive Director[1]
Number of employees
2,128 (30 Dec 2015)[2]
Parent Sun Hung Kai Properties
Website Hong Kong: http://www.smartone.com 
Macau: http://www.smartone.com/mo/

SmarTone Telecommunications Holdings Limited (Chinese: 數碼通) (0315.HK) is a major telecommunications company, with operating subsidiaries in Hong Kong and Macau. SmarTone provides voice, multimedia and mobile broadband services through its territory-wide 4G and 3G networks, as well as fixed fibre broadband services for the consumer and corporate markets.[3]

Company overview[edit]

The company is a mobile phone operator in Hong Kong. It provides service on GSM-900, GSM-1800, W-CDMA (on the 2100 MHz frequency) and LTE-2600 with the brand SmarTone.

The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of SmarTone Telecommunications Holdings Limited SEHK0315. 67%[4] of its stake is held by Sun Hung Kai Properties. SmarTone Mobile Communications Limited also holds 72% stake in SmarTone Macau. Anna Yip is the Chief Executive Officer of the Company.

SmarTone has 31 stores in Hong Kong, including 8 on the Hong Kong Island, 11 in Kowloon and 12 in the New Territories.[5]

History[edit]

SmarTone was launched by Sun Hung Kai Properties and ABC Communications in 1992. It started operations in March 1993. It used to have another branding EXTRA for its GSM-1800-only packages obtained by the acquisition of P Plus Communications in March 1998. The brand EXTRA ended in 2002 and was merged into SmarTone’s dual-band network.[6]

A new branding "SmarTone-Vodafone" was officially launched in April 2005, following a partnership agreement with Vodafone in December 2004. This brand name was used only in Hong Kong. SmarTone retained its original brand name in Macau.

On 19 September 2011, SmarTone Telecommunications Holdings Limited announced that it would not renew its marketing co-operation with Vodafone and reverted its brand to SmarTone from December 2011.[7]

Network Development[8][edit]

Hong Kong[edit]

2G[edit]

  • March 1993 – Launched Asia's first GSM mobile service
  • December 1993 – Launched Asia's first auto-GSM roaming service
  • December 2002 – Launched SmarTone iN! – Proprietary advanced multimedia services mobile portal for customers
  • August 2012 – Re-farmed the 2G 1800MHz frequency band for its 4G LTE network and put into use [9]
  • September 2014 – Announced in the 2013/2014 Annual Results Announcement that it started to re-farm its 2G 900MHz spectrum for 4G LTE, to provide even better coverage. The re-farming targets to complete at the end of 2014 [10]


3G[edit]

  • December 2004 – Launched 3G services
  • July 2007 – Became the first company in the world to enable customers to stream flash video when browsing on any 3G feature phone
  • April 2010 – Debut 28.8Mbit/s HSPA+ network
  • September 2001 – Successfully bid the 3G license in Hong Kong [11]
  • March 2011 – Won the auction for 850MHz frequency band for its 3G service [12]


4G[edit]

  • August 2012 – Launched its 4G service with 1800MHz spectrum, supporting all 4G smartphones available in Hong Kong. 1800MHz spectrum provides better indoor coverage than higher frequency spectrum [13]
  • September 2012 – Became the only Hong Kong mobile operator approved by Apple to offer 4G on iPhone 5. SmarTone emphasized that “it is the only operator in HK offers 4G network on iPhone 5" [14]
  • November 2012 – Extended 4G LTE coverage on all MTR Island Line stations and targets to offer 4G LTE coverage at all MTR stations and its connecting tunnels in early 2013 [15] [16]
  • January 2013 – Provided 4G LTE network along the seven MTR lines (Island Line, Kwun Tong Line, Tsuen Wan Line, Tseng Kwan O Line, Tung Chung Line, Disney Line and the Airport Express). In the same year, it successfully bid for 2 x 10 MHz at the 2600MHz frequency band for its 4G network to expand its network capacity and offer higher speed [17] [18]
  • December 2013 – Extended its 4G coverage to KCR’s lines (East Rail Line, West Rail Line and Ma On Shan Line) and Lok Ma Chau Line [19]
  • August 2014 – Launched VoLTE service but only supported selected smartphone models [20]
  • September 2014 – Commenced the re-farming of 2G 900MHZ spectrum for its 4G LTE, to provide better indoor coverage. Target to complete the re-farming end of this year. SmarTone planned to meet the growing data demand with cell densification, small cell technologies, LTE-Advanced, as well as refarming [21] [22]
  • October 2016 – Extended 4G coverage to the new MTR Kwun Tong Line Extension, covering the new Whampoa and Ho Man Tin stations [23]
  • December 2016 - Extended 4.5G coverage to the new South Island Line, including Ocean Park, Wong Chuk Hang, Lei Tung

and South Horizons stations and deployed additional 2100MHz spectrum to all MTR lines [24]

5G[edit]

  • November 2016 – Partnered with Ericsson for a five-year partnership toward 5G, commencing early trials and pilot deployments of key pre-5G technologies to take place in Q4 2016 [25]

Macau[edit]

2G[edit]

  • July 2001 – Launched GSM mobile service in Macau

3G[edit]

  • July 2010 – Launched 3G service in Macau

4G[edit]

  • November 2015 – Launched 4G service in Macau

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Appointment of Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Cessation to act as Interim Chief Executive Officer and Change of Authorised Representative and Process Agent" (PDF). SmarTone Telecommunications Holdings Limited. 23 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  2. ^ "2015/2016 Interim Results Announcement" (PDF). SmarTone Telecommunications Holdings Limited. 2 Feb 2016. Retrieved 3 Feb 2016. 
  3. ^ "irasia.com - SmarTone Telecommunications Holdings Limited". irasia.com. 
  4. ^ Sun Hung Kai Properties Annual Report 2014/15 P.201
  5. ^ SmarTone> Contact Us> Store Locations 2016-07-26
  6. ^ Chinese media report: 數碼通統一品牌結束Extra下月合併十二門市 客戶可轉用雙頻網
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ SmarTone> >About Us > Our Company > Milestones 2016-07-26
  9. ^ SmarTone to join Hong Kong 4G war
  10. ^ SmarTone Telecommunications Holdings Limited: 2013 / 2014 ANNUAL RESULTS ANNOUNCEMENT
  11. ^ 3G Auction Results Announcement
  12. ^ SmarTone-Vodafone bids successfully for 850 MHz spectrum
  13. ^ Hong Kong casts wide 4G coverage after SmarTone launch
  14. ^ SmarTone provides iPhone 5's first 4G network in Hong Kong
  15. ^ SmarTone extends 4G coverage to all MTR lines
  16. ^ 4G服務已經喺今日覆蓋港島沿綫所有地鐵站同埋其連接嘅隧道內
  17. ^ Incumbent cellcos win 2.5GHz/2.6GHz spectrum
  18. ^ http://www.smartone.com/about_us/media_centre/press_release/2013/03/2013_03_19_357.pdf SmarTone successfully bids for 2600MHz spectrum]
  19. ^ SmarTone completes 4G coverage on MTR
  20. ^ [2]
  21. ^ SmarTone Telecommunications Holdings Limited: 2013/2014 ANNUAL RESULTS ANNOUNCEMENT
  22. ^ SmarTone Telecommunications Holdings Limited: 2011/2012 ANNUAL RESULTS ANNOUNCEMENT
  23. ^ SmarTone deploying 4G at two new HK rail lines 2016-10-24
  24. ^ [3]
  25. ^ SmarTone teams with Ericsson to prepare for 5G era