3 Hong Kong and Huawei announced that 3 HK now has the ability to refarm its 2100-MHz spectrum to not only provide LTE-A services, but also use the band for 5CC CA (carrier aggregation) technology.
3 HK says the upgrade makes it the only cellco in Hong Kong to be able to offer 4.5G services via five different spectrum bands: 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2600 MHz.
3 HK and Huawei have been collaborating to deploy 5CC technology since last year, as well as network technologies such as 4×4 MIMO, massive MIMO and 256QAM.
3 HK said the activation of 5CC CA technology on its network later this month will coincide with launch of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, the first handsets to support 5CC CA technology.
According to a recent report from the Global Certification Forum, CA support had been certified in 42% of devices at the end of 2017, compared with just 7% in 2016.
“Following completion of an NB-IoT network extending throughout Hong Kong last quarter, we activated all bands of spectrum to provide 4.5G service this quarter, coupled with soon-to-be-activated 5CC CA technology – all to maximize spectrum efficiency,” said Cliff Woo Chiu-man, executive director and CEO of Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings (HTHKH), the parent company of 3 HK.
Woo also said 3 HK is working on a 5G development framework, while conducting research and trials in respect of various technology solutions. “We aim to provide 5G service promptly, as soon as spectrum allocation and technology specification become available.”