China Mobile debates fast LTE rollout

Robert Clark
14 Sep 2010

While 3G has been up and running in China for barely a year, some experts are calling for the government to move the industry quickly to LTE.

Just 20 million or so of China’s 783 million mobile users are 3G subscribers, according to subs figures from the three carriers. The industry giant, China Mobile, had signed up just 3.4 million 3G subs to the end of June using the state-developed TD-SCDMA technology.

However, debate is reportedly underway within the operator over the transition to LTE. One China Mobile executive told an internal meeting last week that the carrier “should not hesitate” to adopt 4G, claiming China Mobile’s LTE development was “already at a mature stage.”

But another senior exec said top officials held “fears over the pressures of LTE.” He warned that China Mobile, which has just shouldered the burden of rolling out TD-SCDMA, “cannot aimlessly make a massive investment in LTE.”

Other experts saidthat they agreed with the push for early deployment of TD-LTE and called for its accelerated internationalisation, which includes development of integrated FDD and TD-LTE chipsets, Chinese telecom website reported.

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