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Hong Kong's 5G spectrum auction; 5G gear in India; Nine/Macquarie deal update


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Hong Kong's 5G spectrum auction; 5G gear in India; Nine/Macquarie deal update


* Hong Kong's Office of the Communications Authority raised HK$1 billion after it auctioned off a total of 200 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band to four mobile network operators: China Mobile Hong Kong Co. Ltd., Hong Kong Telecommunications (HKT) Ltd., Hutchison Telecommunications (Hong Kong) Ltd. and SmarTone Telecommunications Holdings Ltd. According to The Standard, the China Mobile Ltd. subsidiary secured the 60 MHz bandwidth in the 3.5 GHz frequency band with an HK$300 million bid. HKT and SmarTone both won 50 GHz bandwidth for HK$252 million each, while Hutchison obtained 40 MHz bandwidth for HK$202 million.

* Ericsson plans to produce 5G radio products in India for domestic use and export, The Economic Times (India) reported, citing Nunzio Mirtillo, senior vice president and head of market area Southeast Asia, Oceania and India at Ericsson. Meanwhile, Huawei Technologies India Pvt. Ltd. CEO Jay Chen said the company is open to starting 5G radio manufacturing in the country, along with previous-generation technologies gear such as 2G and 4G.

* Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings Ltd. said its subsidiary Fairfax Media Ltd. has built its stake in Macquarie Media Ltd. to 98.64% and will now complete its takeover of the radio broadcaster with the compulsory acquisition of the remaining shares. The offer period closed Oct. 14.


* Indian digital wallet Paytm is nearing a deal to secure US$2 billion of new financing from investors including SoftBank Group Corp. and Ant Financial Services Group, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. The funding will be split evenly between equity and debt, and will value Paytm at US$16 billion, the person said.

* NTT Docomo Inc., KDDI Corp. and SoftBank Corp. reported telecommunications problems in some parts of Japan in the wake of Typhoon Hagibis. According to NHK World, mobile phones and landlines using broadband are having difficulties in connecting in areas including the Kanto and Tohoku regions.


* Woongjin Coway Co. Ltd. selected Netmarble Corp. as a preferred negotiation partner for the acquisition of a 25% stake in the company, ZDNet Korea reported. Netmarble offered about 1.83 trillion won for the deal.

* SK C&C, the de facto holding company of SK Group, acquired an 18.8% stake in Cloocus, a Korean partner of Microsoft Corp.'s cloud service Azure, Digital Daily reported. The acquisition is part of the company's multicloud project, which aims to connect its own cloud brand with the cloud products of Microsoft, Amazon Web Services Inc. and Google LLC.


* Tencent Holdings Ltd., the primary media partner of the National Basketball Association Inc. in China, lifted its broadcast suspension of NBA preseason games and resumed livestreaming the games on its sports website, TechNode reported. Tencent earlier suspended NBA broadcasts after a Houston Rockets executive expressed support for the Hong Kong protests in a tweet.

* In more Tencent news, the company signed an agreement with Shenzhen Securities Communication to build a cloud-based platform for the finance industry. Tencent Cloud will also provide infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service full-stack cloud services.

* Youku Tudou Inc. inked a deal with Genius Brands International to co-produce "Stan Lee's Superhero Kindergarten," an animated series starring and executive produced by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Variety reported. Aimed at preschoolers, the comedy-adventure series will be available to Chinese audiences on the platform.

* Liu Yong quit his role as head of Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd.'s online education platform Qingbei, citing personal reasons. According to LatePost, Liu was the founder of Qingbei, which was later acquired by ByteDance.

* Esign, a Chinese e-signature software company, raised about US$100 million in its series C funding round led by Ant Financial, KrASIA reported. Other investors in the round include venture capital firms Gobi China and Eminence Ventures.

* Kuandeng, a mapping solutions provider founded by a former Baidu Inc. executive, secured 100 million yuan in its series A+ fundraising round, according to TechNode.


* Indian authorities showed a willingness to compromise on the price of spectrum ahead of the country's spectrum auction, The Economic Times (India) reported. Speaking at the India Mobile Congress, Indian Telecom and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government is aware of the telecom industry's concerns that the cost of spectrum is too high, but noted that reform of spectrum pricing is ongoing.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is willing to sign a "no backdoor" agreement with India to allay security concerns, Reuters reported, citing Huawei India CEO Jay Chen. The Chinese company is also offering to put its source codes in an escrow account to reassure the government that Huawei's 5G equipment is secure.

* WarnerMedia LLC unit WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks appointed Abhishek Dutta as senior director and network head for children's content, overseeing Cartoon Network and Pogo in South Asia, C21 Media reported. Based in Mumbai, his responsibilities include programming, channel operations, acquisitions, promotions, as well as content direction for the two brands. Dutta was most recently senior kids programming director at Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd.


* Nokia Corp. completed a 5G end-to-end live network trial in Indonesia, through a tie-up with local mobile carrier PT Hutchison 3 Indonesia. The trial was able to display the 3ID network's ability to support end-to-end 5G deployment after multiple tests were conducted on the 28 GHz spectrum.

* Indonesia President Joko Widodo officially launched Palapa Ring, a nationwide internet network using fiber-optic wires, CNBC Indonesia reported. Palapa Ring functions as a highway for high-speed internet, connecting 514 districts and cities all over the country.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission hired a bidding expert who will design a telecom auction system for the country, Naewna reported. The result of the 10-million-baht contract is expected to be revealed by the end of October.

* In related news, the Thai telecom regulator expects that 5G technology will be deployed in the country's Eastern Economic Corridor in October 2020, Bangkok Post reported.


* New Zealand will invest NZ$17 million over four years to support the country's fight against terrorist and extremist content online, Reuters reported. The capital will be used to double the investigative, forensic, intelligence and prevention work of the Department of Internal Affairs. Additionally, a new team of 17 people will be dedicated to tackle violent extremist content online.

* SKY Network Television Ltd. reached a broadcast deal agreement with the New Zealand, Australian, South African and Argentinian Rugby Unions. Under the agreement, Sky's existing SANZAAR broadcast rights will be extended until 2025 and will include exclusive coverage of all Investec Rugby Championship, Steinlager Series, Investec Super Rugby, Mitre 10 Cup and New Zealand's domestic competitions. The deal, which will also see New Zealand Rugby taking a 5% stake in Sky, is subject to shareholders' approval.

* Seven West Media Ltd. responded to reports that stated the company is in talks to sell its magazine operations to Germany-based Bauer Media, and said, "no binding agreement has been concluded." The company also said, "any agreement, were it to be concluded, would be subject to regulatory approval and obtaining other consents."


Q&A: Sports betting advertising now 'material' revenue stream for several NBC RSNs: NBC Sports Regional Networks President David Preschlack said that the programmer's national sports predictive games are building momentum among casual bettors.


Economics of Internet: See it in charts: US, international OTT, September 2019: View U.S. and international over-the-top video trends at a glance in PowerPoint format. Key charts summarize the status of subscription video, ad-supported video, video advertising and other top sector trends.

Joji Sakurai, Hyegyu Park, Frances Wang, Ed Eduard and Patrick Tibke contributed to this report. The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. Hong Kong time. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.