Hong Kong cellcos kick off 4G war

Fiona Chau
25 Apr 2012

Hong Kong is expected to see stiff competition in 4G market, as three more LTE operators in the city start “selling” their 4G services today.

A day before rival China Mobile Hong Kong’s official launch of its LTE network and service, 3 Hong Kong and PCCW Mobile announced yesterday that they would begin accepting pre-order of a range of LTE devices from customers, despite the fact that the operators haven’t officially launched their LTE network.

The move is to take on China Mobile HK, which begin offering its 4G services today with two LTE handsets - LG Optimus True HD and Samsung GALAXY S II. The company is offering the 4G services with three monthly data plans - HK$88 for 500MB, HK$118 for 1GB and HK$137 for unlimited data plan. Customers can get the LTE handset for free if they sign up for the unlimited data plan.

In a promo, 3 Hong Kong said that starting from Tuesday customers can pre-order a range of 4G devices, including Samsung GALAXY S II, HTC One XL and LG Optimus True HD smartphones as well as Samsung GALAXY Tab 8.9 at its shops. The operator didn’t reveal the pricing plans for its 4G service and said it would launch the LTE network “very soon”.

PCCW Mobile said customers can get a LTE handset or dongle for free if they sign up for the operator’s “Ultimate Mobility Plan”, which offers choices of 5GB and 10GB data with top up options.

The operator said customers can pre-order a variety of LTE-enabled devices, including Samsung Galaxy SII and HTC One XL smartphones, as well as Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and Huawei E398 USB dongle. These devices are expected to be available in early May.

Alternatively customers who wish to experience a 4G device immediately may subscribe to the plan with a LG Optimus True HD smartphone today.

PCCW mobile said “its 4G LTE network is being rolled out progressively throughout Hong Kong”.

“A 3G service will be offered in those areas where we do not have 4G network coverage until such time as 4G coverage is available,” the company said in a statement.

Its customers will be able to enjoy the convenience of seamless auto-connection between the 4G LTE network and HKT’s Wi-Fi network, the company added.

PCCW Mobile, 3HK, CSL and China Mobile Hong Kong were the four successful bidders in the 4G spectrum auction for 2.6GHZ band in 2009.

CSL launched its LTE network last November.

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