PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 August, 2011, 12:00am


In case you haven't heard, Hong Kong now has Asia's first 4G, or LTE [Long Term Evolution], network. While you should know what 3G is by now, 4G is, logically, the next generation of mobile networks.

So, what's the difference? Like other generation leaps, 4G is faster - much faster. By using the new LTE technology, the CSL network - whether you are on 1010 or one2free - now gives you roughly six times better performance when you are downloading content from the internet.

With 4G, you can now download a 10MB file in just four seconds, compared with 22 seconds on the typical 3G network today, according to CSL.

Besides 4G, the CSL service also gives you something called DC-HSPA, or dual-carrier high-speed packet access, for you geeks out there. Basically, it combines two connections of the existing HSPA networks to boost speeds in case you are outside the coverage of the 4G network.

Unfortunately, there are no handsets for 4G yet, so the only way to use the service is through your PC and a USB dongle now available from CSL. You'll also need a subscription with CSL, available for 1 and 5 gigabyte and unlimited data downloads.

Monthly prices for plans (minimum 24 months), including the dongle (worth HK$2,680), are HK$187, HK$287 and HK$387 for one2free and HK$249, HK$349, and HK$458 for 1010. There's an extra charge of HK$99 per GB for the 1GB and 5GB plans, but it's capped at HK$498 per month.

Pros: super-fast downloads everywhere

Cons: you'll need a device with a USB port and either Windows or Mac OS, so no Android or iPad support