China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier by subscribers, said it will launch commercial VoLTE service across the country by the end of this year.
Speaking at the Global TD-LTE Initiative summit yesterday in Barcelona, China Mobile president and CEO Li Yue said the operator aims to complete all the outdoor testing and field trails of VoLTE by mid-year, with the commercial service expected to be available nationwide by year-end.
Li also outlined China Mobile’s plan on Rich Communications Suite (RCS), the initiative from the GSM Association to help cellcos compete with the OTT threat.
China Mobile will conduct commercial trial of RCS services by the end of this year, with plans to launch commercial services across the country by the first half of 2015, Li said.
On the network side, China Mobile will this year expand its TD-LTE network coverage to over 340 cities with 500,000 base stations across the country.
Li said China Mobile signed an agreement with Korean operators on Monday for 4G roaming, and will puruse roaming agreements with other 4G operators around the world.
On the device side, the operator said it will continue to push to cut the cost of 4G handsets, and on making 5-mode, 10 frequency-band a basic requirement for 4G devices.
“This year, we will drive $100 to $150 4G smartphones that support 5-mode and 10- frenquency bands. We launched a $150 4G smartphone at the end of last year. This year again we want cut this cost down to about $100 so that it can cover more of the world's population,” Li said.