MWC2014: CSL deploys 300Mbps LTE-A because it can

John C. Tanner
25 Feb 2014

CSL has begun upgrading its LTE network to LTE-Advanced – which it says can achieve theoretical peak speeds of 300Mbps – as a gambit to one-up the competition on the connection-speed front.

The move to LTE-A comes hot on the heels of last year’s upgrade to Cat4 LTE, which promises speeds of 150Mbps. Most of CSL’s base stations have been upgraded to support Cat4 devices.

The LTE-A upgrade essentially takes two 150-Mbps carriers – 20 MHz from the 1800-MHz band, and another 20 MHz from the 2600-MHz band – and aggregates them into a 300Mbps carrier.

CSL CTO Christian Daigneault claimed that CSL’s LTE-A deployment is the fastest speedwise because of the amount of spectrum the cellco is sitting on in the 1800 and 2600 MHz bands.

“Other operators are doing carrier aggregation, but they’re doing it with 10 MHz by 10 MHz, or sometimes 10 MHz by 15 MHz,” he explained during a press conference at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Monday. “In Hong Kong, we’re he only operator that has 20 MHz of spectrum in two different bands. So this is a very strong differentiator.”

The other differentiator for CSL, Daigneault added, is that LTE-A is essentially a software upgrade, leveraging the software-defined radio gear installed by its LTE vendor partner ZTE.

“We’ve already started the software upgrade on four commercial sites – three outdoor and one indoor – that support dual-band 1800/2600 LTE, and once the technology matures and we fine-tune the software, we’ll roll it out to the rest of the sites. This is why we can be so early in implementing it,” he said.

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