SmarTone to upgrade to 42Mbps by year-end

Nicole McCormick
05 May 2010
00:00
News
Daily News

Ericsson will upgrade SmarTone’s entire network to 42Mbps HSPA+ by year-end under a new three-year HSPA+ network upgrade deal with the Hong Kong cellco.

SmarTone has contracted Ericsson, its sole network vendor, to carry out network design, systems integration, support services and network deployment.

SmarTone fired up its first 42Mbps HSPA+ base stations “a couple of weeks ago,” a spokesperson told telecomasia.net. “We plan to have 42Mbps HSPA+ rolled out over our entire network by the end of the year.”

SmarTone CEO Douglas Li said the deployment of the Ericsson multi-mode, multi-standard base stations would “smooth the way” to providing peak speeds of 84Mbps and accommodate the upgrade to LTE.

The spokesperson said the market does not “anticipate demand for LTE until 2013 or 2014.”

“Currently, our HSPA+ network should be capable of meeting the demands of the market. When there is a market demand for LTE, we plan to accommodate it.”

SmarTone is the only Hong Kong cellco without spectrum at 2.6GHz for LTE. It will use its existing 1800MHz spectrum band for LTE.

The spokesperson said SmarTone believes that LTE1800 offers “much more efficient” reception and penetration than LTE at 2.6GHz.

“It is also much more cost effective to roll out LTE in the lower spectrum bands,” he said.

Rival Telstra-backed CSL aims to wrap up its LTE2600 trial in October.

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