Hong Kong's CSL has joined the LTE club with the launch of Asia's first commercial LTE service.
However, the launch is in name only. It gives the Telstra-owned cellco a jump on its rivals, but because of a lack of devices CSL is offering the service only to corporate customers who took part in trials.
CMO Mark Liversidge told telecomasia.net that it has only a small number of dongles from ZTE and Samsung. Service to consumers won’t start until Q1 2011.
At a ceremony that included Telstra boss David Thodey and ZTE chairman Hou Weigui, CSL yesterday unveiled a network covering 50% of the city's 7 million population and promising download speeds up to four times faster than HSPA+.
It says the upgraded network is world's first dual cell (DC) LTE/HSPA+ network – an official 3GPP standard.
The launch follows three years of network planning and restructure by the operator. It replaced its long-term vendor Nokia Siemens with ZTE and converted its 3G/HSPA network into the world's first all-IP 3.5G network.
Since launch of the all-IP network in March 2009, mobile data traffic has increased 65 times, but operating cost has remained flat, the company says.
CSL CEO Joseph O'Konek said this was because of the IP configuration as well as the ability to shift between the 900MHz, 1800MHz, and 2600MHz bands using software-defined radio.
The network is also a global showcase for ZTE as its first commercial LTE network.