China's Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei said China won't introduce 4G services nationwide until 2014, according to the China Daily newspaper.
Miao indicated that China will need some three to five years to begin large-scale commercial deployments of 4G thanks to the development of TD-LTE since it isn't fully mature. While China Mobile will adopt TD-LTE, Miao said China may allow operators to adopt a different standard.
"It is also obvious that the Chinese government doesn't want to adopt a 4G service too soon as that would disrupt the carriers' efforts to develop 3G services" further, Miao reportedly said.
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
- see this Dow Jones report
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