SmarTone to join Hong Kong 4G war

Hong Kong mobile carrier SmarTone Communication has unveiled plans to launch an LTE network in the 1800-MHz frequency band next month, a move expected to intensify the city’s brewing 4G war.

SmarTone CEO Douglas Li said recently that commercial services will be available on August 28, with existing 3G data plans apply to new LTE services.

Failed to gain 2.6-GHz frequencies in the 4G spectrum auction in 2009 The company, SmarTonewill implement LTE technology by refarming the 1800-MHz frequency band originally used for 2G services.

Li said the introduction of 4G will double the operator’s network capacity enabling the provision of improved customer experiences and higher quality services.The biggest benefit of the 4G is additional broadband capacity, he noted, adding that 4G allows an operator to handle the traffic loading better.

He added that the LTE rollout in the 1800-MHz band provides better indoor coverage and spectrum efficiency improvement by 30%.

SmarTone aside, 3 HK has also started refarming the 1800-MHz spectrum for LTE, expecting completion in 2013. PCCW Mobile also plans to do the same but without any details announced.