Hong Kong – Space Station Carrier Licensing

The Telecommunications Authority (the “TA”) in Hong Kong has the authority to issue Space Station Carrier Licences (“SSCLs”) pursuant to section 7(5) of the Telecommunications Ordinance (the “Ordinance”).  The general conditions and the fees of an SSCL are set out in the Telecommunications (Carrier Licences) Regulation (the “Regulation”). 

SSCLs are a specific type of carrier licence.  According to the Ordiance, a “Carrier Licence” means a licence issued for the establishment or maintenance of a telecommunications network for carrying communications to or from the public between fixed locations, between moving locations, within Hong Kong, or between Hong Kong and places outside Hong Kong…” 

SSCLs are defined in the section one of the Regulation as follows:  “a carrier licence issued for the licensee to establish, possess, maintain, use and operate a space station or earth station for telemetry, tracking, control and monitoring of a space object and for space radiocommunications”.  The Guidelines for the Application for a Space Station Carrier Licence (the “Guidelines”) states that the holder of a SSCL:

…is permitted to establish, maintain, possess, use and operate radiocommunications stations as follows:

(a) earth stations for telemetry, tracking and control of space objects;

(b) earth stations for monitoring space objects;

(c) space stations on board a space object for radiocommunications; and/or

(d) space stations on board a space object for telemetry, tracking and control of such space object.

(Section 2.2 of the Guidelines)


SSCLs contain standard conditions.  However, interested parties must make individual applications for SSCLs.  The TA reviews each SSCL application and must make a determination based on the merits of the SSCL application whether to issue the licence.

According to section 3 of the Guidelines, the TA will take the following Licensing Criteria into account when deciding whether to grant a SSCL to a licensing applicant: 


  • the corporate status of the applicant;
  • financial capability;
  • managerial strength;
  • technical competence and experience;
  • technologies employed;
  • performance bond;
  • status of frequency coordination; and
  • implementation schedule.


The Guidelines also make clear, however, that these criteria do not represent the definitive list of factors that will be considered when reviewing a licence application.  Each application is determined on its own merits.


The information that should be included with a SSCL licence application is described in section 4 of the Guidelines.  Generally, the application should contain the prescribed information concerning the applicant company; financial strength; technical information; range of services;  technical support; previous relevant experience; and the implementation plan.



Learn More