China Mobile: Go For TD-LTE Launch

China Mobile, which claims more than half of China’s mobile market (700 million subs), has selected a total of 16 vendors to supply terminals for its growing 4G trial networks, reports Rethink Wireless. The operator has reportedly already purchased 34,700 devices for its TD-LTE network tests in 13 cities across the nation.

The world’s largest cellco by subscribers plans to order more than 200,000 units to be offered in over 100 cities over the course of 2013.

China Mobile has been officially running the second phase of its scale-trial of TD-LTE in 13 Chinese cities since June. Ericsson, Huawei, ZTE and Alcatel Lucent have all participated in the TD-LTE network trial. China Telecom, the nation’s smallest mobile carrier, is also rumored to likely adopt TD-LTE technology when it starts to deploy its 4G network.

China Mobile’s tender reportedly included contracts for some 20,000 base stations and 52,000 carrier sectors, by the end of this year, covering 13 cities with a combined population of 150 million people.

It’s the single biggest stimulus for the nascent TD-LTE ecosystem. Huawei, ZTE and Samsung will supply 300 dual-mode TD-LTE/TD-SCDMA handsets, while seven firms, including ZTE and Alcatel, will also provide CPE units.

Apple has yet to crack China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier. Any iPhone that’s TD-LTE-enabled will presumably work on Clearwire’s TD-LTE spectrum in the United States and Softbank in Japan. China Mobile and Clearwire share technology and spectrum.

However, a custom version for Mobile’s TD-SCDMA (3G) network would be required for China Mobile. The iPhone 5 uses a Qualcomm Gobi MDM9615, while the MDM9625 only began sampling in Q4 2012.

China Mobile is also set to launch TD-LTE services in Hong Kong before the end of this year, making Hong Kong the first city to have a dual-mode TD-LTE and FDD-LTE network.

China Mobile, Clearwire, and Softbank would use all of the 2.6 GHz band for TD-LTE. The Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) announced that China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile network, Softbank Japan, the largest current TD-LTE provider, and Clearwire, the major proponent of TD-LTE in the United States, are working together to devote nearly the entire 200 MHz band to TD-LTE (band 41), and to make their infrastructure and consumer equipment interoperable and compatible.

Qualcomm LTE chipsets supporting the Band 41 in combination with other LTE FDD/TDD bands are scheduled for commercial availability later this year. Leading TDD operators, include China Mobile, India’s Bharti Airtel, South Korea’s KT, Japan’s SoftBank, the US ClearWire, UK Broadband and P1.

Several countries in Europe, such as the UK, plan to auction the 2.6 GHz spectrum early next year. They are likely to go ahead with a shared TD/FD approach, formulated several years ago at the ITU’s World Telecommunications Forum. Favored by the big telcos, that approach would devote 140 MHz out of the total 190 Mhz to paired frequencies. That’s handy for [virtually non-existent] voice traffic.

Another big win for the ITU.

The UK’s OFCOM will likely auction the spectrum early next year. UK mobile operators will be able to bid of the 800MHz and 2.6GHZ frequency bands. Australia will auction its Digital Dividend in April 2013, determined by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Brazil’s four largest mobile operators all acquired 4G 2.6 GHz spectrum this June, netting BRL2.72 billion (US$1.3 billion) in total for the government.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Clearwire: On the Hot Zone, Qualcomm Aims for Everything with S4 Processor Family, Clearwire Cuts TD-LTE Deployment, South Korea Completes Nationwide LTE Coverage, Brazilian 4G Auction Raises $1.3B, Huawei LTE 4×4: Goes to 250 Mbps, Clearwire and China Mobile Announce TD-LTE Testing Plan,

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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