China Unicom built 100k LTE BTS in '14

Dylan Bushell-Embling
04 Feb 2015
00:00

China Unicom constructed 100,000 new LTE base stations during 2014 as it ramped up its hybrid TDD/FDD LTE network trials.

The operator's service quality report shows it built 90,000 FDD LTE base stations and 10,000 TD-LTE base stations during 2014, C114.netreported.

As of the end of the year, China Unicom has launched TD-LTE in more than 300 cities and expanded its hybrid LTE network trials. Regulator MIIT recently gave Unicom and China Telecom approval to expand their hybrid trial reach to 56 cities.

China Unicom and China Telecom are pursuing a hybrid approach due to the government's decision to allocate licenses for the homegrown TD-LTE standard first. The MIIT has yet to allocate commercial FDD LTE licenses.

But according to recent rumors, the two operators are aiming to expand their FDD trial networks to over 100 cities, in an attempt to force the MIIT to issue FDD LTE licenses in May.

Allocating FDD licenses could help China Unicom and China Telecom close the gap between them and China Mobile.

Because China Mobile lead the development of the TD-LTE standard and is relying solely on the standard for its 4G network, the operator has had a head-start on its rivals in the 4G market.

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