China Mobile has chosen another vendor, Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), to participate in its TD-LTE trial network deployment.
With the approval of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), Ericsson will build a TD-LTE trial network in the city of Shenzhen. Ericsson said it would supply its multi-standard base station, evolved packet core (EPC), OSS and services.
Ericsson's approval follows that of Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks in late March. Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell will deploy an end-to-end LTE solution for China Mobile's trial in Shanghai, while NSN will supply a TD-LTE network, OSS and services in Hangzhou. In December, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology gave China Mobile the go ahead to begin large-scale testing of TD-LTE in Shanghai, Hangzhou and four other cities. This version of LTE is slated to run in the unpaired spectrum known as Time Division Duplex (TDD).
Huawei and ZTE are also likely to be announced as trial vendors. Alcatel-Lucent said it was chosen by China Mobile after finishing a number of interoperability tests with two handset suppliers. NSN also conducted interoperability testing with handset vendors.
China Mobile, the largest mobile operator in the world in terms of subscribers, has been heavily pushing the commercialization of TD-LTE, and has been reaching out to overseas operators in Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Australia. Interest is heating up as mobile operators in Europe are sitting on a bunch of vacant TDD spectrum that was attached to their 3G licenses, and more TDD spectrum is expected to be released in auctions across the globe.
E-Plus in Germany recently announced it will launch a TD-LTE field trial in Germany in the first quarter. The trial is based on 2.6 GHz spectrum that E-Plus acquired in the German spectrum auction. China Mobile is providing technical support to the trial, while ZTE will provide base stations.
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