China Mobile is ramping up its 4G push with plans to introduce its long-expected TD-LTE service in the southern Guangdong province as early as end of this month.
Guangdong Mobile, the provincial branch of China Mobile, announced on Sunday that customers can now pre-register for the 4G service online.
The service will initially available to China Mobile’s customers in Shenzhen and Guangzhou, the mobile carrier said on its website.
Four TD-LTE devices will be available with different 4G plans at the service launch, including two smartphones - Samsung N7108D (The TD-LTE version of the Galaxy Note II) and the Huawei G716 - and two MIFI (mobile WiFi) routers provided by Huawei and ZTE.
China Mobile is offering three different tariff plans for its 4G service –138 yuan/month (600MB in-country data traffic, 400MB in-province data traffic and 500 minutes of voice), 238 yuan/month (1G in-country data traffic, 1GB in-province data traffic and 1000 minutes of voice), and 338 yuan/month (2GB in-country data traffic, 1GB in-province data traffic and 2000 minutes of voice).
It is also providing four different data plans for MiFi users, with prices ranged from 50 yuan/month (600MB in-country data traffic and 400MB in-province data traffic) to the highest 130 yuan/month (3GB in-country data traffic and 1GB in-province data traffic). In addition, three 4G mobile internet plans range from 50 yuan (600MB in-country data traffic and 400MB in-province data traffic) to100 yuan (2GB in-country data traffic and 1GB in-province data traffic) each month.
Customers can start using 4G service by end of October, the company said.
Guangdong Mobile’s move signals the official debut of the 4G service in China after heated speculation that the Beijing government will issue 4G licenses by end of this year.
But there has not yet been any official announcement from the MIIT that the 4G licenses have been issued. And China Mobile didn’t indicate whether it’s a pilot service or an official launch of the TD-LTE service.
China Mobile, which is trialing TD-LTE 4G networks in 15 cities across China, last month picked nine equipment vendors for its initial 4G contracts.