Hong Kong mobile carrier CSL has joined the ranks of LTE-Advanced evangelists, revealing plans to introduce a commercial service that supports a theoretical peak download speed of 300 Mbps as soon as early 2014.
The Telstra-owned operator, through mobile brands 1010 and one2free, demonstrated its upcoming 300Mbps LTE-Advanced service yesterday.
The new service, touted as LTE Advanced 300, is enabled by aggregating its 20MHz spectrum in both the 1800-MHz and 2600-MHz LTE bands.
CSL and ZTE, its sole LTE supplier, used an emulator with four antennas for LTE Cat 6's MIMO 2x2 implementation to perform the demonstration at a small cell site in its lab.
CEO Phil Mottram said CSL will implement carrier aggregation technology on its existing LTE network in next few months. Yet CSL won’t be offering the 300Mbps service until early 2014 when compatible devices are available in the market.
Compatible USB dongles and modems and pocket Wi-Fi are expected to be available in early 2014, with smartphone equipped with LTE Cat 6 radio supporting 1800-MHz and 2600MHz frequency bands coming to the market in mid-2014, CTO Christian Daigneault said, adding that “our network will be mature at that time."
Daigneault said CSL is the only operator in Hong Kong with sufficient FD-LTE spectrum to achieve optimal LTE-A speeds up to 300Mbps.
Mottram said CSL spent over HK$1 billion on network investment. Capex in the fiscal year that ended in June was over HK$900 million and said the company was likely to be similar this fiscal year, with most of the money spent on network development, he noted.
The announcement comes four month after CSL announced plans to upgrade its 4G network to LTE CAT 4, providing a theoretical throughput of 150Mbps. CSL parent Telstra, as well as Sprint and Yota, have pledged to launch LTE-Advanced this year.
CSL was an early mover with LTE, beginning its deployment in 2010. The company launched services for existing high-end customers in May 2011, and opened subscriptions to new users a few weeks later.