Multi-mode LTE terminals have been proven to interoperate with 2G and 3G networks, according to Chinese vendor ZTE this week.
The development gives the TD-LTE industry a boost with the announcement that ZTE has successfully completed the first interoperability trials between end-user TD-LTE terminals and GSM/UMTS/CDMA EV-DO networks.
According to ZTE, this development will lift the TD-LTE eco-system as it demonstrates that TD-LTE devices will happily roam onto legacy networks, removing a potential barrier for operators to deploy TD-LTE networks.
“The test shows that devices for TD-LTE networks are close to market availability, and that ZTE’s extensive TD-LTE expertise ensures that our existing 2G and 3G networks are able to handle traffic from TD devices,” said Mr. Wang Shouchen, general manager of ZTE TD products, in a statement.
LTE has been acknowledged as a crucial step in enabling operators to deal with the rising tide of data traffic, but up to now there has been concern as to whether terminal devices would work seamlessly with existing networks.
While FDD is the standard technology for the majority of LTE networks rolled out so far in Europe and the US, TD-LTE networks are popular in Asia, due to familiarity with the technology from those operators running WIMAX networks and the lower cost and wider availability of suitable TDD spectrum.
ZTE said that as of April 2011 it had deployed TD-LTE trials for 25 operators globally across 15 countries round the world and that it had been carrying out interoperability testing with end user terminals from other equipment vendors to ensure compatibility.