Alca-Lu claims lead in China Mobile 4G push

China Mobile has picked Alcatel-Lucent as its lead vendor in the rollout of a trial TD-LTE network, the infrastructure firm’s Asia Pacific president says.
The vendor’s local subsidiary, Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, will supply about 3,000 4G base stations in Shanghai, Nanjing and Qingdao, following a successful deployment of a trial network in Shanghai in March 2011.
Rajeev Singh-Molares, president of Alcatel-Lucent Asia Pacific, says his firm will deliver “the largest share” of China Mobile's new TD-LTE trial rollout across the three major cities. The deal takes the vendor’s share of global LTE equipment contract to 20%, and will boost its market share in China, he added.
With more than 700 million subscribers, China Mobile has been aggressively pursuing an expanded TD-LTE trial network. By the end of 2012, the trial network will deploy 20,000 base stations and 52,000 carrier sectors covering 13 cities across China, which have a combined population of 150 million people.
China Mobile launched the tender in August and attracted bids from a number of global and local vendors including ZTE, Huawei Technologies, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks.
Alcatel-Lucent’s announcement came a day after ZTE revealed it has landed a contract to deploy TD-LTE for China Mobile in five cities – it’s second such deal with the operator.
While China Mobile declined to identify which vendors it picked for the trial network, media reports state seven suppliers won contracts in total. Datang Mobile, Ericsson, Huawei, New Postcom Equipment, and Nokia Siemens Networks round out the list.
As part of its 4G push, China Mobile also plans to expand the TD-LTE network to 100 cities with 200, 000 base stations by 2013. The operator will launch the tender for equipment purchase and network construction next year.