China grants TD-LTE licenses, clearing the way for iPhone on China Mobile

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China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued licenses for the TD-LTE standard to the country's three carriers, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. The government did not say when services using the TD-LTE standard will begin, though previous reports have pegged Dec. 18 as a launch date for China Mobile's TD-LTE service. China Mobile, the world's largest carrier with around 740 million subscribers, has the largest lead in building out its TD-LTE network, which was expected to reach 100 cities covering 500 million people this year. The granting of the licenses could pave the way for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5s and 5c to land on China Mobile after years of haggling between the two companies over a deal. A website that appeared to be taking pre-orders for a China Mobile iPhone now appears to have been a hoax, but it seems likely that a launch is not that far off, though no official deal has been announced. Article