Hong Kong cellco CSL and its technology partner ZTE are demonstrating a network based on Long Term Evolution (LTE)/HSPA+ Dual Cell (DC) technologies at the LTE Asia 2010 Conference (today and yesterday). The partners’ exhibit involves pre-commercial LTE USB modems running various multimedia applications, showcasing high speed file download/upload, internet browsing, HD video download and streaming performance. In July 2010 CSL commenced deployment of an 1800MHz/2600MHz LTE platform and the upgrading of its 3.5G network to a DC configuration with peak speeds of 42Mbps. Since the end of 2009 ZTE and CSL have been testing LTE, with field trials showing peak download rates reaching up to 100Mbps in the streets of Hong Kong. ‘CSL’s data traffic has increased by 40 times since the launch of [its HSPA+] Next G network in March 2009; it is clear that there is a strong need for LTE in Hong Kong to continue to provide a superior customer experience,’ Christian Daigneault, the cellco’s chief technology officer, told the conference this week. CSL is aiming to be the first in the world to simultaneously deploy DC HSPA+ 42Mbps/LTE platforms over an entire national network.
TeleGeography notes that in August 2010 rival Hong Kong operator PCCW deployed Huawei’s DC HSPA+ solution, enabling it to increase its peak downstream speed from 21Mbps to 42Mbps, whilst another operator in the Special Administrative Region (SAR), SmarTone, is aiming to complete an upgrade to 42Mbps DC HSPA+ by the end of 2010. Meanwhile, the 3G market’s leader by subscribers Hutchison (3) – which is also estimated to have recently overtaken CSL as the SAR’s overall largest cellular provider – signed a HSPA network upgrade deal with Nokia Siemens Networks in July 2009 which will see its performance boosted to a maximum 42Mbps downlink and 11Mbps uplink within the first two years of the contract.