China Mobile on Friday announced plans to release its first 4G LTE network in Hong Kong. The service which will launch on April 25 will feature 100Mbps capabilities and will be available on at least two 4G phones right from launch time. Both 4G LTE phones are expected to be available on LTE launch day.
The countries largest mobile carrier also announced that it plans to have 10 4G LTE enabled phones available for sale before the end of 2012.
According to Electronista:
“The choice of carrier will let those who regularly visit mainland China keep one data plan to serve both areas, although it’s not immediately clear whether the Hong Kong access is the same FDD-LTE as CSL or if it’s the TD-LTE that China Mobile plans to use for its main China deployment. The former is more likely given China Mobile already owning relevant 2.6GHz spectrum from 2009.”
By gravitating towards 4G LTE technology China Mobile could increase sales on future devices, specifically big selling brands from Apple and Google which are limited by Hong Kong frequencies but could work with the new streamlined 4G LTE technology being implemented by the wireless carrier.
China Mobile also plays to role out its TD-LTE network to mainland China however the company is still waiting for final government approval before it moves forward with those plans, approval that could delay the launch until 2014 or possibly 2015. In the meantime Apple and Google are both attempting to work with China Mobile to ensure their devices are supported as soon as possible.