Most Read Contributor in Hong Kong, September 2016
The creation of a class licence for public wireless local area
network services (WLANs) will make it easier for new service
providers to set up WLANs. WLANs allow internet access in public
places without having to plug into fixed lines. Some commentators
have speculated that WLANs might pre-empt 3G mobile services. But
this is unlikely, WLANs only cover hotspots and is a technology
aimed at laptop computers rather than mobile phones. 3G and WLANs
will therefore most likely happily co-exist.
Any person who intends to operate a public WLAN service will
only be required to register with the Office of the
Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) before commencing operation. No
application and processing procedures will be involved, and no
licence fee will be levied.
A class licensee may use WLAN equipment which operates within
the frequency bands of 2400 - 2483.5 MHz, 5150 - 5350 MHz and 5725
- 5850 MHz and meets the specific emission power level for each
frequency band. Public WLAN services under the class licence
Facilitation of communications among persons within the radio
coverage area of the WLAN; and
Provision of access to or resale of a public telecommunications
service via the WLAN.
A class licensee is required to operate subject to certain
conditions, these are intended to protect the interests of
consumers and other parties. These conditions include:
operating, maintaining and providing services in a manner
satisfactory to the OFTA;
avoiding interfering and obstructing other lawful
ensuring metering equipment is accurate and reliable; and
not indulging in anti-competitive behaviour and running
The licensing requirements only apply to operators of public
WLAN services, but not end users for private use.
The class licence will come into force shortly, but no date has
been announced as yet.
The original email legal update is copyright Johnson
Stokes & Master at the date written first above. All rights
reserved. This publication provides information and comments on
legal issues and developments of interest to our clients and
friends. The foregoing is intended to provide a general guide to
the subject matter and is not intended to provide legal advice or a
substitute for specific advice concerning individual situations.
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respect to the matters discussed herein. Please also read the JSM
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