Hong Kong cellco CSL has announced that customers of both its main brands, 1O1O and one2free, now have access to enhanced 4G LTE services via the commercial switch-on of an additional 2×5MHz frequency block in the 2600MHz band, augmenting an existing 2×15MHz of active 2600MHz spectrum. TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported that on 19 March CSL won the band 2535MHz-2540MHz paired with 2655MHz-2660MHz for HKD310 million (USD40 million) in an auction alongside additional spectrum awards won by Hong Kong’s other four cellcos, Hutchison (3) and PCCW (via their Genius Brand 4G infrastructure joint venture), SmarTone and China Mobile Hong Kong. CSL’s CEO Phil Mottram announced this week that further enhancements to the operator’s dual-band 1800MHz/2600MHz LTE network would be made ‘in the next few weeks via the re-farming of 2×15MHz of 1800MHz spectrum, and added that ‘since 2012, we have invested over a billion [HKD] dollars on network development.’ Mottram also announced that CSL’s 4G network now covers 95% of Hong Kong’s population – up from the 90% 4G population coverage claimed in August 2012, TeleGeography notes.
CSL also announced the launch of Hong Kong’s first ‘Category 4’ (CAT 4) LTE device, a portable Wi-Fi router, available to pre-order for 1O1O and one2free customers, supporting 150Mbps downlink, which costs HKD2,280 to buy, with monthly plans costing HKD299. Further CAT 4 devices are planned for launch in the second half of the year.