Hong Kong cellco CSL says it has launched the world’s first commercial 1800MHz/2600MHz dual-band LTE network for users of its premium brand ‘1O1O’ (pdf). A contract was awarded to ZTE in May to upgrade the network.
It will allow the company to offer LTE on both 2600 MHz and 1800 MHz, which gives better indoor penetration.
CSL launched Hong Kong’s first LTE network in 2010, which currently spans over 90% of Hong Kong. Having launched LTE services in the 2600MHz band in November 2010, CSL’s latest network upgrade is based on Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology allowing dual band LTE frequencies (1800MHz and 2600MHz) in a single radio cell.
ZTE is deploying its newest LTE-A-scalable R8884 base station for the first time. ZTE also has Multi-Mode TDD/FDD LTE terminal products that support FD-LTE, TD-LTE, TD-SCDMA and EDGE standards for end users.
According to CSL, the dual band cell sites save ‘up to the equivalent of five times the space’, and increased future network stability, whilst the quality of service can be enhanced as user devices will select the strongest frequency band based on location.
ZTE says their R8882 base station is the world’s first and only SDR based CDMA/LTE dual-mode radio unit. It supports multiple frequency bands, enabling fast and smooth evolution and uses less than 200 Watts of power with a Power Amplifier Efficiency of 40%. Each SDR-based LTE base station can save 16KWH of energy every day, says ZTE.
CSL, a subsidiary of Australia’s Telstra, operates three distinct brands, 1O1O, One2Free and New World. CSL segments its customers and provides different brands for each segment — including a corporate and business brand called 1010, and a “no frills” brand, New World Mobility, “for those who just want a mobile”.
In February 2012 CSL launched voice for LTE handset users via Circuit Switch Fallback, and the company claimed the world’s first LTE international roaming with South Korea’s SK Telecom, in June 2012.
South Korea’s SK Telecom said it broke 4 million LTE subscribers in July and expects 7 million by the end of 2012. SK Telecom, with a 50% share of the South Korean mobile market, was the first to launch voice calling over its LTE, using Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) services. Cumulatively, South Korea has a total of some 8.4M LTE users.