China Mobile applies for FDD license

11 Mar 2015

China Mobile has reportedly applied for an FDD LTE license, in a bid to be prepared in case it faces a shortage of TD-LTE spectrum.

In an interview with C114. China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua said he has full confidence in the TD-LTE ecosystem, which has been maturing in terms of infrastructure and industry supply chains.

But the operator has applied for an FDD license to allow it to trial dual FDD-TDD LTE networking services. “If the TDD frequency spectrums are run out, we can also use the FDD spectrums,” he told the publication.

The company is also applying for an FDD license because if it succeeds in the integrated network trials it could improve operators' confidence in the TDD standard in other countries.

China Mobile's LTE priorities for 2015 include carrying out comprehensive indoor and outdoor 4G coverage trials and reducing 4G data and voice tariffs, Xi Guohua said.

China's MIIT finally allocated full FDD LTE licenses to China Mobile rivals China Telecom and China Unicom last month, after granting approval for hybrid TDD/FDD LTE trials last year.

The operators elected to deploy hybrid FDD-TDD networks due to the government's decision to allocate TD-LTE licenses first, more than a year before the granting of FDD licenses.

China Mobile, as the main backer of the TD-LTE standard, was originally expected to rely solely on the technology for its 4G network.

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