LTE test drive, Part 1: The set-up

13 Jun 2011

On the day of Hong Kong CSL's official commercial LTE launch, the cellco provided some local journalists with a ZTE dual-mode LTE/DC-HSPA+ dongle to test-drive the network.

I was one of those journalists, and I’ll be posting the results over the next two days. (I could post them now, but I’m told people won’t read long articles on the web, so I’m keeping it punchy.)

For now, here’s a little set-up to explain the methodology and limitations of the test:


Really, I just traveled around Hong Kong at random, but I opted for two deliberate types of testing:

1. Stationary usage

2. Mobile usage.


1. No support for Apple devices

The ZTE Express 100 dongle currently available for the service only supports Windows devices. Which means I couldn’t use my MacBook to test it. And I don’t own anything that runs Windows. Which brings us to:

2. The Acer Aspire

CSL was kind enough to supply a Windows-compatible laptop to test the dongle – an Acer Aspire running Chinese Windows Vista, with no English-language option. Apart from the obvious handicap of me being illiterate in Chinese (which isn’t CSL’s fault, of course), the fact that I was using a loaner limited my ability to test the LTE network using my own accounts for things like Skype video, file uploads and downloads, etc. Consequently, I stuck primarily to web surfing and various streaming video sites.

Which may be as well, since the Aspire not only had one of those flaky trackpads that randomly left-clicks things on its own, but also had a 1.3-GHz processor, which – as you’ll read later – gets crabby when you start throwing too many MIPS at it, which (say) 720p YouTube videos most certainly do. (And did I mention it was running Vista?)

That’s the set-up. Tune in tomorrow for the results.

NEXT: Part 2: Video marathon

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