Hong Kong-based mobile operator SmarTone-Vodafone has launched commercial HSPA+ services, providing theoretical peak downstream speeds of 21Mbps, becoming the second cellco in the Special Administrative Region (SAR) to introduce the technology, following CSL New World Mobility in March this year. SmarTone is offering three new mobile broadband packages: ‘Power 3’ with typical actual download speeds of 2Mbps-3Mbps, ‘Power 7’ allowing typical rates of 2Mbps-6Mbps and ‘Power 21’ delivering typical user speeds in the range 2Mbps-14Mbps. Douglas Li, CEO of SmarTone-Vodafone, said the company would ‘continue upgrading network speeds to 28Mbps and 42Mbps next year, paving the way for 80Mbps and even higher speeds with implementation of LTE [Long Term Evolutuion].’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, SmarTone is planning to introduce LTE using its existing 1800MHz spectrum, whilst rivals CSL, Hutchison (3), PCCW and China Mobile (Peoples) all plan to deploy the ‘4G’ technology using 2.6GHz frequencies won in a recent auction.
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