CSL’s determination to be one of the first LTE players in Asia took another step forward Monday when the Telstra-owned cellco announced that its dual-mode LTE and DC-HSPA+ network upgrade was complete and “fully functional”. Now it’s just waiting for devices.
Via main supplier ZTE, CSL has deployed full DC-HSPA+ coverage in the 2100 MHz band across the territory, and 2600-MHz LTE in select heavy-traffic districts. CSL is also deploying equipment to offer LTE in its 1800-MHz spectrum.
DC (Dual Cell) HSPA+, a standard under 3GPP Release 8, doubles the downlink speeds of HSPA by combining two 5-MHz carriers to create a 10-MHz channel, which means peak downlink speeds of 42 Mbps on its 21-Mbps HSPA+ network.
The object of deploying both LTE and DC-HSPA+ at the same time, says CTO Christian Daigneault, is to offer a fallback option for LTE that doesn’t result in a noticeable drop in connection quality.
“Most of the apps that people will use can be handled by HSPA+ already in terms of speed, but for heavier apps like 1080i HD video or 3D, you’ll need at least DC-HSPA+,” he said. “This will also be important for apps that rely on really low latency, like online games and videoconferencing. You don’t want to drop back to HSPA and then the game starts lagging.”
CSL took journalists on a LTE demo tour of the network Monday. The demo test – which utilized two laptops with pre-commercial LTE dongles – covered a number of heavy-duty apps, including HD videoconferencing, 720p HD video downloads, online games and 3D video, in locations from the urban canyons of Central and Tsim Sha Tsui to the remote village of Sai Kung in the New Territories.