It’s been less than three months since we were talking about the first LTE Advanced network hitting speeds of 102Mbps in Korea and now a 300Mbps LTE Cat 6 radio network is being primed in Hong Kong. The company behind the service, Hong Kong’s CSL (which operates 1010 and one2free), enabled it by aggregating their 20MHz carriers at both its 1,800MHz and 2,600MHz LTE bands.
Because there aren’t any handsets on the market that use LTE Cat 6 radios just yet, CSL partnered with ZTE to create an oversized device for demonstration purposes. Said device used four thick antennas for the MIMO 2x2 implementation as shown below.
Engadget was on hand for the live demo and personally witnessed local download speeds of just below 300Mbps. A more realistic FTP download clocked in at 172Mbps which is still above CSL’s current maximum offering. They didn’t see an upload test but the company said it was capped conservatively at 50Mbps.
The publication notes that LTE Cat 5 could have been used as it’s also capable of 300Mbps down but it would have required MIMO 4x4 and that’s just too many antennas to stuff into a mobile device.
Those in Hong Kong won’t have access to the speedy 300Mbps service until early 2014 and even then, it’ll be limited to compatible USB dongles and modems for starters. One of the main reasons for this is because the company is waiting for better battery and power management technologies due to the fact that the aggregation method requires more power. Additionally, vendors need time to produce smaller LTE Cat 6 chipsets.