China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has launched its long-expected equipment tender for its TD-LTE networks across the country.
In a tender notice published last Friday, China Mobile said telecom equipment vendors who are interested and qualified can get bidding applications from the company between today and Saturday. They are required to submit those documents and attend a public bid opening on July 15, the company added.
China Mobile did not disclose the financial terms of the tender but said the company aims to build 207,000 base stations in 31 provinces around the country.
The move is the company’s latest push in 4G. In May China Mobile launched its latest TD-LTE terminal tender bidding to procure 206,500 devices, including MiFi (150,000), data cards (30,000), CPE (20,000) and handsets (6,500).
China Mobile, facing increased competition from China Unicom and China Telecom in 3G market, is pinning its hopes on 4G to win back high-end 3G customers from the two smaller rivals.
China Mobile plans to spend as much as 190.2 billion yuan in capex this year, with more than half of this to be spent on its pre-commercial TD-LTE rollout.
The operator last year carried out large-scale TD-LTE trials in 15 cities in China with about 20,000 base stations, and has built 4G networks to a pre-commercial standard in Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. It plans to expand commercial-ready TD-LTE networks to 100 cities and add more than 200,000 base stations this year.