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China Mobile Striving for Voice in World 4G Standard
[November 20, 2009]

China Mobile Striving for Voice in World 4G Standard

BEIJING, Nov 20, 2009 (SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX) -- Nelson Greater China Telecommunications Business Vice President Shan Phillips said in an interview that China is trying to grab a bigger piece of cake in the global telecommunications industry. If the Chinese 4G technology becomes standard, Chinese companies can save a lot in respect of costs on intellectual property rights.

In the battle for next-generation network (4G) standard, China is mustering its efforts to become the main criterion and lead the market.

China's communications standards have been difficult for the international promotion. However, the TD-Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) technology is likely to regain a bureau for China. Industry insiders believe that, taking various factors into consideration, China's TD-LTE-Advanced is likely to eventually beat the WiMax standard and become the world's main standard for 4G communications.

China has an advantage in the proposal. LTE, and WiMax are the only two 4G standards at the moment. Once the LTE wins, China's TD-LTE will certainly be adopted, a person from China Mobile Beijing Branch's network optimization center, said in an interview.

China puts high expectations on TD-LTE, not only because LTE can offer opportunities for China's integration into the global communications technology circles, more importantly, compared to TD-SCDMA, TD-LTE are more likely to be used worldwide. Thus, scale economic effect will push markdowns of equipment and terminals.

In the 2G and 3G eras, China has almost had no voice in communications standards. China's homegrown 3G standard (TD-SCDMA) competes with the more mature global 3G standards WCDMA and CDMA2000. But China's less upfront investment in TD-SCDMA led to postpone commercial use and reduce attractiveness to overseas markets.

Earlier this month, China's TD-LTE-Advanced was listed as one of the candidates for 4G wireless communications standard globally and would compete with WiMax.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is scheduled to release the 4G international standard next October, after a further test and evaluation of the proposals for 4G standardization. LTE gains increasing supports from the world's telecommunications industry. Compared with 3G, LTE has more technical advantages in improving the system capacity, data speed, throughput and reducing latency and can support new businesses that have higher requirements on system capacity and performance.

Global System For Mobile Communications (GSM) Association Chief Marketing Officer Michael O'Hara said in an interview this week that China Mobile and China Telecom both have expressed their commitment to the development of LTE. He also anticipated that China Mobile will be likely to launch LTE commercial networks as early as 2011. But China Mobile has not set a timetable for LTE commercial operations.

China Mobile Board Chairman Wang Jianzhou Wednesday confirmed at the Mobile Asia Congress held in Hong Kong that the telecom carrier has begun a small-scale outfield testing on LTE, and plans to start TD-LTE experimental network during the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

Consulting firm Visant Strategies forecasts that LTE user will account for 90% worldwide mobile users in the 4G era.

Thus, while China just issued 3G licenses to local carriers, it will try to promote the nation's TD-LTE-Advanced, with independent intellectual property rights, to become international standards for 4G.

If China Mobile drives the implementation of LTE network, it will greatly stimulate the development of the technology. According to the number of users and market value, China Mobile is the world's largest mobile operator.

Wang Jianzhou said LTE system has been relatively mature, but there are still many problems to be solved in terminals.

Consulting firm In-Stat predicts that LTE users in China by 2013 will never exceed 50 million, of which 80% will come from China Mobile.

Ryuji Yamada, CEO of NTT Docomo, also announced that the Japan-based telecom operator will start LTE commercial network in December 2010. Telecoms research institution Informa says in a report that LTE users in the entire Asia-Pacific region will reach 14.4 million by the end of 2015 and Japan will snatch a more than 50% share.

Source: (November 20, 2009)

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