Review Box

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

China to go into 4G telecom technology by 2015

China's homemade fourth-generation telecommunication technology TD-LTE that can download over 150 megabytes per second will be used globally by 2015, say Chinese industry experts.

The next-generation Time Division-Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) technology, currently under trial, is promoted by the China Mobile Communications Co.

"Many international operators have contacted China Mobile and expressed willingness to adopt TD-LTE networks," Chen Jinqiao, deputy chief engineer at the China Academy of Telecommunication Research (CATR), told China Daily.

He said the most likely partners in building the TD-LTE networks would come from Africa and Latin America, as many countries in these continents have a good relationship with China.

"They are more likely to accept China's technology, and TD-LTE may even help them make a leap forward directly from the 2G era to the 4G stage," said Chen.

The successful use of the technology in China will boost confidence in the product and encourage them to deploy TD-LTE networks, he added.

China Mobile, the world's biggest wireless operator by subscribers, said 15 TD-LTE trial networks have already been deployed in a number of countries.

Nine more test networks in cooperation with global telecom operators will be added during 2011, said Wei Bin, chief of the network research department with China Mobile Research Institute.

However, in mature markets, the promotion of China's TD-LTE technology will be difficult, due to competition from other 4G technologies, said Chen of CATR.

China Mobile is pinning great hopes on the new technology, as the company intends to use it to grab the market share both at home and overseas.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in October selected China's TD-LTE Advanced, an upgraded version, as one of the six international 4G standards.

An earlier Chinese version, the TD-SCDMA had failed because "it was inferior to rival 3G technologies like the WCDMA in terms of maturity and its use was only limited to China", the daily said citing experts.

The globalization of the TD-LTE technology is progressing well. Almost all major international telecom companies have pushed forward its development, said Tina Tian, chief telecom analyst with Gartner's China office.

Foreign telecom giants such as Ericsson and Alcatel Lucent and domestic companies like Huawei, ZTE and Datang have participated in the technical trials of TD-LTE with China Mobile.

The industry and information technology ministry last week announced that it approved wide-ranging tests of TD-LTE in six major Chinese cities, indicating that the technology is edging towards the commercial-use phase. The cities are Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Xiamen.

China Mobile said in a statement last Friday that the upcoming large-scale tests are aimed at exploring the commercial potential of the technology and to provide impetus for global telecom carriers to adopt and deploy the new network.

"Compared with China Unicom's WCDMA and China Telecom's CDMA2000, China Mobile's TD-SCDMA did not gain the upper hand in the 3G market, so the company has quickened the pace of promoting 4G technology in the hope of maintaining technology superiority," China Daily quoted Tian as saying.


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