ZTE gears up for LTE

Chinese telecom vendor ZTE says it will launch commercial FDD-LTE equipment in second half of 2009, as W-CDMA operators are embracing the 4G technology.

Shen Dongli, vice president of wireless technology and marketing, ZTE USA, says the company will conduct commercial trials of FDD-LTE equipment with some European operators in 2009, with commercial deployment scheduled for 2010.

ZTE, which is also a strong supporter for TD-CDMA, the Beijing-backed 3G technology, aims to launch commercial equipment for TD-LTE (the long term evolution for TD-SCDMA) in 2010, Shen said.

In a bid to grab a bigger share in the post-3G market, ZTE had earlier announced to invest about 6 billion yuan ($875 million) to build a new research and production base in Xi'an to develop LTE solutions and handsets.

The company has now over 2,000 experienced engineers specializing in GSM/CDMA and 3G technologies at its R&D facility to develop equipments and products for both FDD-LTE and TD-LTE. Of the total some 900 engineers are focusing on TD -LTE.

Shen said that TD-LTE is likely to create a greater economy of scale than TD-SCDMA, given the FDD-LTE and TD-LTE share the same baseband hardware.

TD-SDCDMA, he said, has a smaller economy of scale because it is quite different from W-CDMA technology.