SmarTone, the smallest mobile operator in Hong Kong, said it installed small cells using licensed assisted access (LAA) technology in a number of congested areas in the territory and plans to extend the rollout to additional locations.
The operator, with a 17 per cent market share by subscribers, said its LTE network now makes use of both licensed and unlicensed spectrum as well as five-carrier aggregation to reach theoretical peak download speeds of 1Gb/s.
The LAA small cells were deployed in Central, Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok and Shatin districts. By installing LAA small cells in strategic locations, the operator said its network can absorb traffic surges during festive and special events.
In June Hong Kong’s regulator allocated additional spectrum for the provision of public mobile services, a move it said would put the market at the forefront of adoption of advanced technologies including LAA. The Communications Authority officially allocated 580MHz of spectrum in the 5GHz band.
SmarTone and Sweden-based equipment vendor Ericsson conducted a field trial of LAA technology over a live network in the territory in August 2017.