Rumors are circulating that China's communications ministry is preparing to issue FDD-LTE operating licenses to China Unicom and China Telecom next month.
Citing an industry source, Tencent Techsaid the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has commenced the preparations required for issuing the new licenses.
China Unicom and China Telecom both recently applied to receive commercial FDD licenses as part of their dual-mode LTE rollouts.
The MIIT issued TD-LTE licenses to the nation's operators last year, but China Unicom and China Telecom have both expressed a preference for FDD LTE over the China Mobile-led TDD standard.
As a result of the decision, the operators plan to roll out hybrid LTE networks, and received approval to commence dual-mode FDD/TDD trials in June.
The MIIT has separately revealed that China's three mobile operators have a combined 43 million 4G subscribers, out of a total of 1.27 billion mobile users.
The statistics also show that more than 90 million new smartphones shipped in China during Q3, and that its smartphone users are consuming an average of 186MB of mobile data per month.