China Mobile Ltd's <0941.HK> Hong Kong unit has launched 4G LTE (long term evolution) mobile data services in the Chinese territory, allowing cross-border data sharing plans when roaming in China.

Subscribers who sign up for new 3G and 4G data plans with China Mobile in Hong Kong as of Friday will be able to travel to China to use mobile data services for a fixed monthly fee, reducing data roaming expenses, the carrier said in a statement.

Hong Kong has already launched next generation 4G services, with CSL Ltd, a unit of Australia's Telstra Corp , the first to do so in November 2010, though China has yet to do so commercially, with some cities undergoing trial runs.

China, which has the world's largest number of mobile phone subscribers with the number crossing a billion, still mainly uses 3G technology.

Broadband demand for accessing the Internet anytime and anywhere is facing tremendous growth, corresponding with the global explosion of data, Tiger Lin, chairman of China Mobile Hong Kong, said in a statement.

In view of this trend, 3G networks have already lagged behind the data demands of this generation.

China Mobile's shares rose a slight 0.12 percent in early trade on Friday, better than the main Hang Seng Index's <.HSI> 0.29 percent fall.

The carrier, which competes with China Unicom <0762.HK> and China Telecom Corp Ltd <0728.HK> in the country, will announce first-quarter results later on Friday.

An average forecast of 28.2 billion yuan is expected for its January-March net profit from three analysts.

(Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)