China finally issues 4G licenses
December 05, 2013
After over a year of speculations, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MITT) has finally granted 4G licenses to the country’s three mobile carriers.
China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom all have received a license to provide 4G service using the Beijing-backed TD-LTE technology, according to a notice on the MIIT’s website.
The ministry also awarded China Mobile a license to operate fixed-line services, a move which will allow the mobile giant to compete directly with China Telecom and China Unicom in the booming fixed broadband market.
However, licenses for the more widely deployed FDD-LTE standard have not yet been awarded by the government.
The ministry said it will approve the launch of FDD-LTE technology trials based on applications from mobile carries, and an inspection of the hybrid FDD-LTE/TD-LTE network model. The FDD-LTE licenses will also be issued “when conditions are more mature”, the regulator added.
In separate statements, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom confirmed that they received licenses.
China Mobile said it has started offering 4G service and plans to roll out the service in 13 cities, including Beijing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Qingdao, Nanjing, Xiamen, Shanghai, and Chengdu, by the end of this year.
China Telecom said it will apply for a FDD-LTE license "as soon as practicable", according to a statement to the Hong Kong Exchange.
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