China Mobile names seven vendors for TD-LTE network trial

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China Mobile announced seven manufacturers will supply equipment for an expanded TD-LTE network trial to 10 additional cities. The lucky contract winners include Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU), Huawei Technologies, Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), Nokia Siemens Networks, New Postcom Equipment, Datang Mobile and ZTE, reported EE Times.

The procurement process for the TD-LTE network, which began in August, included contracts for some 20,000 base stations and 52,000 carrier sectors. The expanded TD-LTE trial network will involve 13 Chinese cities, including three initial cities where service was first unveiled. The list of 13 includes Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Qingdao, Tianjin, Shenyang, Ningbo, Chengdu and Fuzhou, according to DailyWireless.

Alcatel-Lucent and ZTE provided additional information on the deployments they will handle for China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator with in excess of 700 million subscribers.

Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, a joint-venture, will deliver approximately 3,000 base stations in the cities of Shanghai, Nanjing and Qingdao, three major Chinese economic hubs. The company said it will supply an end-to-end TD-LTE solution including radio access products--the Alcatel Lucent 9926 Digital 2U eNodeB, TD-LTE Remote Radio Unit (RRU) for the multiple spectrum bands being used as well as core networking equipment and the 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM) network management tool.

Since February 2012, Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile have been developing and testing technology elements for the vendor's lightRadio technology. In August 2012, the companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to conduct joint nanocell research in China.

ZTE said it will construct TD-LTE networks for China Mobile in five Chinese cities: Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shenyang with more than 13,000 carrier frequencies. ZTE said that in China Mobile's earlier TD-LTE project in Hong Kong, ZTE was assigned 50 percent of the construction work, as was Ericsson. "ZTE has become the largest LTE device supplier for all such projects initiated by China Mobile, said ZTE.

The win is good news for ZTE, which said earlier this week it will report a financial loss of $300 million for 2012's third quarter, due in part to fallout from an investigation by U.S. authorities over allegations the company sold banned computer gear to Iran.

China Mobile is trying to make its mark as a leader in TD-LTE, as are other leading operators such as Japan's Softbank, which is investing $20.1 billion in Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), and Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR). In July, Clearwire and China Mobile said they are extending their partnership into a non-binding memorandum of understanding aimed at supporting international roaming between China and the United States. The operators--which said they expect spectrum used for TD-LTE in the 2.3 GHz-2.7 GHz range will make up one of the most widely deployed 4G configurations in the world--expect their work will create a blueprint for future roaming agreements with other members of the Global TD-LTE Initiative.

For more:
- see this EE Times article
- see this Alcatel-Lucent release
- see this ZTE release
- see this DailyWireless.org blog entry
- see this China Tech News article
- see this Mobile Business Briefing article
- see this Caixin article
- see this BBC article

Related articles:
UPDATED: Sprint will play a $20.1B role in Softbank's LTE vision
Clearwire signs TD-LTE roaming pact with China Mobile
Clearwire unfazed by Chinese delay on TD-LTE licenses
Clearwire, China Mobile pursue interoperability TD-LTE tests
TD-LTE catching fire, but challenges remain

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