Excellent communications have been an essential
element in Hong Kong's development as an international business
and financial centre. The HKSAR has one of the most sophisticated
telecommunications markets in the world, and its people are kept
well informed by a vigorous media.
The HKSAR has a fully liberalised telecommunications
market. In July 2004, legislation to regulate merger and acquisition
activities in the telecommunications market came into effect. The
Government also decided to withdraw the mandatory Type II interconnection
arrangement that enable fixed network operators to reach customers'
premises through another operator's customer access networks at
telephone exchange level. This decision encourages fixed network
operators to make further investment in advanced telecommunications
infrastructure and to launch new services and applications for consumers,
thereby helping Hong Kong to develop into a leading digital city.
Hong Kong has a vibrant broadcasting sector offering
a wide range of services to local viewers and listeners. Hong Kong
viewers and listeners have access to over 200 local and overseas
television channels in various languages through free-to-air terrestrial
and satellite reception or pay television services provided by three
companies, and 13 radio channels provided by two commercial broadcasters
and Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), the public service broadcaster.
At the same time, it is a regional broadcasting hub with 13 licensees
uplinking over 100 satellite television channels for the regional
market. Terrestrial television broadcasters are migrating to digital
broadcasting and the Government is updating the regulatory regime
in the light of technological and market convergence.