Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), declared 2011 to be the year of TD-LTE as the technology is expected to pick up pace this year and operators begin choosing vendors for full-scale network roll outs.
Ericsson, along with Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU), was chosen to build out part of China Mobile's TD-LTE trial. Ericsson CFO Jan Frykhammar told Total Telecom that he doesn't expect commercial TD-LTE networks this year but said "there are some big important economies going in for TD-LTE... This is the year of TD-LTE."
China and India are the obvious choices for leadership in the TD-LTE space. Indian Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) licensees have been studying their options. Do they deploy WiMAX now to get to market or wait for TD-LTE to mature? It appears some rather large licensees such as Aircel, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Industries will likely be among the first operators to deploy TD-LTE.
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. 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.
And Sweden's Hi3G is working with ZTE to bring to market in Sweden and Denmark what they call the world's first dual-mode LTE networks that will incorporate both FDD and TDD flavors of LTE and provide data speeds of up to 100 Mbps.
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Ericsson showcases voice over TD-LTE for China Mobile
China Mobile aims to push TD-LTE overseas