China Mobile, the biggest mobile operator in the world, has awarded initial 4G contracts to both Chinese and Western suppliers, according to Reuters.
Huawei and ZTE are the biggest winners, with Huawei and ZTE taking more than half the share (about 25 per cent each), according to sources cited by Reuters. Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and NSN are said to have each secured a share of around 10 per cent.
China Mobile, with a subscriber base of nearly 750 million, says it want to roll out 200,000 base TD-LTE stations this year, providing continuous coverage for the main metropolitan areas in 100 major cities.
China Mobile is expected to spend around CNY20 billion ($3.3 billion) on TD-LTE equipment this year. China Mobile, in H1 2013, spent only a third of its full-year 2013 capital expenditure budget. The Chinese government has yet to officially award 4G licenses.
TD-LTE subscriptions will surpass 500 Million by 2017, with annual TD-LTE service revenues of $91 Billion worldwide, forecasts Research and Markets.
Ericsson says 55% of all mobile phones sold in Q2 2013 were smartphones, and that data traffic keeps growing, as opposed to voice. Time Division is particularly well matched for asymetrical data connections.
Regulators like the FCC, however, waste spectrum by auctioning off paired frequencies for the big carriers. Carriers have the money and can keep out new competition. It’s a club. Membership is exclusive.
China plans to complete broadband coverage in both its urban and rural areas by 2020. China Daily reports the strategy aims at rolling out Wi-Fi coverage in key public urban areas by 2013 and fixed broadband coverage for half of Chinese households by 2015.
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