Our Ref : EM/KFC/175-99
Your Ref :
In reply Please quote our reference number on the letter and envelope.

Date : 11 August, 1999

Bills Committee on Telecommunication (Amendment) Bill 1999
Legislative Council Secretariat
Legislative Council Building
8 Jackson Road
Central, Hong Kong

Dear Committee Members,

Re : Telecommunication (Amendment) Bill 1999

On behalf of owners of various shopping centres, carparks and commercial buildings, we wish to address our concerns on the proposed provisions on access to buildings and land of the captioned bill as follows:-

  1. the amendment is contrary to the principles of free market economy from which Hong Kong has benefited.

  2. the amendment will send the wrong message to potential investors of infrastructure and other land projects.

  3. the amendment is inconsistent with international best practices relating to land access by mobile operators.

  4. there is keen competition between shopping centre operators to attract customers. Shopping centres should therefore welcome the provision of a mobile service without the need of regulation. Mobile communications coverage in shopping centres can also be provided by mobile facilities installed in adjacent buildings. Market forces therefore work against any excessive fee charged or access denied to mobile facilities in shopping centres.

  5. the Government proposed to determine the fee for mobile facility installation in private land on a cost basis plus a reasonable return. This is unjust to shopping centre operators and those mobile operators who are already providing service in the relevant shopping centres without taking account of the current market price.

To :Bills Committee on Telecommunication (Amendment) Bill 1999
Ref : EM/KFC/175-99
Date:11 August, 1999
Re :Telecommunication (Amendment) Bill 1999

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6. keen competition already takes place among shopping centre operators, who individually negotiate with mobile operators. By contrast, some mobile operators jointly negotiate with the shopping centre operators.

7. private commercial agreements already exist between operators of mobile phone and many shopping centres.

8. visitors to shopping centres should not cross-subsidise mobile communications users.

9. cost of operating a telecommunications business are decreasing rapidly owing to new technology whereas shopping centre operators do not have this advantage.

10. the number of customers of mobile operators has increased by about 40% in 1998 whereas shopping centre and car park operators are suffering from declining revenue.

11. the Government has just reduced the mobile operators' annual licence fees by about 27%.

12. the Telecommunications Authority, who has a vested interest in encouraging competitively priced mobile services, is not sufficiently impartial to make the appropriate fee determination. In any case, its determination may violate the property and land legal doctrines.

To conclude, the proposed right of access to private land is wrong and unfair and we are not in support of the proposed amendment.

Yours faithfully,
For and on behalf of

K. F. Chan
Deputy Manager