China awards FDD-LTE licences

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has finally awarded FDD-based 4G licences to smaller carriers China Telecom and China Unicom. The pair, which trail China Mobile, have both received FDD-LTE licences, giving them the opportunity to deploy more universally compatible FDD-LTE technology.

However, officially, the licences are awarded on the basis that both companies use them to trial FDD-TDD LTE integration in 16 cities around the country.

All three carriers, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, were granted TD-LTE licenses at the end of last year and China Mobile, which operates a 3G network based on TD-SCDMA has already launched LTE services. But both Unicom and Telecom had pressured the MIIT to use the more globally compatible FDD-LTE technology to make them more competitive.

It is understood that some 4G network development is under way. Kit vendor Alcatel-Lucent announced a deal to supply access technology for China Telecom at the end of last year.

But it’s China Mobile that is really steaming ahead with 4G deployments. It’s known that around half of China Mobile’s LTE infrastructure contracts have been won by local suppliers Huawei and ZTE, while Ericsson, Alcatel Lucent and Nokia have picked up around ten per cent of the business each with their Chinese competitors bagging 25 per cent apiece. The combined value of China Mobile’s LTE contracts is thought to be in the region of $3.2bn.

The 9th annual LTE Asia conference is taking place on the 15th-17th September 2014 at the Suntec, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

China Mobile is also making headway on TDD and FDD integration. In November, China Mobile teamed up with Huawei to demonstrate the world’s first international VoLTE HD voice and video calls between a TDD LTE network and a FDD LTE network.

The demonstration was conducted over China Mobile’s VoLTE trial networks in Chengdu and Hangzhou, and a VoLTE network in South Korea.

Li Zhengmao, China Mobile’s vice president, held a meeting to demonstrate the call, as China Mobile stepped up its efforts to accelerate VoLTE commercialisation and TD-LTE internationalisation.


One comment

  1. Avatar Ashish 01/07/2014 @ 5:37 am

    VoLTE call and Video call between China and South Korea was done using Nokia TD-LTE gear. Nokia is TD-LTE supplier to China Telecom, China Unicom and Of course China Mobile and maintains #1 share with China Mobile for 4G network…

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