CSL limits LTE to existing customers

John C. Tanner
17 May 2011

Telstra-owned cellco CSL opened its LTE network to the consumer market Monday, but is limiting subscriptions to existing high-end customers until more devices are available.

Customers of CSL’s Next G mobile broadband service under its high-end 1010 brand can upgrade from the current 21-Mbps HSPA+ service to either a combined LTE/DC-HSPA+ service for HK$399 (just over $50) a month, or the standalone 42-Mbps DC-HSPA+ service for HK$339 a month.

Both plans include the cost of a dual-mode LTE/DC-HSPA+ dongle manufactured by ZTE – currently the only device available for the service.

CSL chief executive Joseph O’Konek said that the cellco “wanted the benefit of the power of LTE to go first to our loyal customers who have supported us over the years.”

However, on a more practical level, said chief marketing officer Mark Liversidge, CSL is also initially limiting the service to 1010 customers due to supply-chain constraints.

“We didn’t want a scenario like you see with iPhones and iPads where lots of people queue up and walk away disappointed because supplies ran out,” he said.

The good news for non-CSL users keen on LTE is that they won’t have to wait too long. Liversidge said that CSL is working with vendor partners to provide more devices, and that enough dongles should be on hand to allow the cellco to open its LTE offering up to everyone “in a few weeks”.

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