China Mobile: Apple interested in building TD-LTE iPhone

Mobile giant China Mobile Communications' Chairman Wang Jianzhou said Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is interested in developing a version of the iPhone based on TD-LTE technology.

"(Apple CEO Steve) Jobs has expressed his interest in an LTE iPhone and is willing to start the development at an early date," the chairman told Bloomberg in Beijing.

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.

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.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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China Mobile aims to push TD-LTE overseas