Hong Kong's CSL preps network for LTE Cat 4, offers Huawei's 150 Mbps mobile hotspot (video)

With Hong Kong boasting pretty much the fastest average internet speed on this planet, it's no surprise that the city is also one of the first to launch commercial 150 Mbps LTE Cat 4 service -- just right after SingTel's launch in Singapore earlier this month. Announced yesterday by CSL (who operates both one2free and the more premium 1010), its FD-LTE network takes advantage of the recently acquired 5MHz extended spectrum, in order to increase the capacity of 2600MHz from 2 x 15MHz to 2 x 20MHz. This upgrade is what enables Cat 4 download speed of up to 150Mbps on compatible devices, and it went live yesterday.

The company's 1800MHz spectrum will also get an upgrade from 2 x 10MHz to 2 x 15MHz in June, followed by another jump to 2 x 20MHz towards the end of the year. You'll find a live demo video (courtesy of RingHK) showing the performance difference between Cat 3 and Cat 4 after the break, with CTO Christian Daigneault claiming he's seen a speed increase of up to twice as fast in the lab.

While CSL didn't announce any new phones at the event, it did show off its upcoming LTE Cat 4 mobile hotspot -- no name mentioned but it appears to be Huawei's E5776. In addition to its 150Mbps capability, the device is also compatible with five LTE bands (800/900/1800/2100/2600) as well as quad-band DC-HSPA+ (850/900/1900/2100). As for the WiFi part, its 802.11/b/g/n radio can support up to 10 devices simultaneously. One bonus feature is that this gadget can double up as an external USB battery with its generous 3,000mAh cell, which can otherwise keep the hotspot running for up to 10 hours.

CSL is now accepting pre-orders for this HK$2,280 (about US$300) kit ahead of its June 17th launch, but you can also get it for free on a 24-month contract: for about HK$300 or US$40 per month, you get either 7GB monthly allowance with 1010 or a 10GB cap with one2free. Of course, you can also just wait for the LTE Cat 4-enabled Huawei Ascend P2, but there was no mention of it at the event, sadly.

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1O1O & one2free enhance customer experience with the broadest 4G FD-LTE spectrum* and first LTE CAT 4 device In Hong Kong

Hong Kong, 22 May 2013 - 1O1O and one2free today announced the commercial launch of 4G LTE extended spectrum together with the pre-order of Hong Kong's first LTE CAT 4 device, bringing a superior 4G LTE mobile experience for customers in Hong Kong.

With 5MHz extended spectrum, a total of 2 x 20MHz at 2600MHz for 4G LTE is deployed starting today, delivering a smoother and more consistent 4G mobile experience. The re-framing of 2 x 15MHz of 1800MHz spectrum in the next few weeks will bring even greater enhancement to customer experience.
1O1O and one2free has the broadest 4G FD-LTE spectrum*, delivering more 4G network capacity in Hong Kong and a superior network experience with faster speed for customers.

LTE customers can enjoy a more consistent and reliable mobile experience through the addition of this spectrum, allowing them to enjoy the full potential of bandwidth demanding applications such as interactive online gaming, while spending significantly less time downloading large files for business and entertainment.

Phil Mottram, CEO of CSL Limited said, "We are committed to customer excellence by investing in the development of a superior network for the people and businesses of Hong Kong. Since 2012, we have invested over a billion dollars on network development and innovation and we will continue to invest in sustaining a superior network experience for our customers. This network enhancement with extended spectrum yet again sets us apart from the competition."

In addition, the new LTE CAT 4 device launched today is bringing a better experience to our customers. CAT 4 is the latest standard in device technology and brings better users' experience when compared with all other existing devices. Starting today, at all 1O1O Centre and one2free shops, customers are able to pre-order the first LTE CAT 4 device in Hong Kong, a pocket Wi-Fi, by joining the designated service plans.

Today's announcement continues to show 1O1O and one2free leading 4G technology innovation in mobile telecommunications services in Hong Kong since the world's 1st dual band 4G LTE network was launched in November 2010.