LTE can't come soon enough for China Mobile

China Mobile Communications says it is the "most-ready operator" for LTE technology. The Chinese operator said it is preparing for LTE now and building out its government-mandated 3G TD-SCDMA network so cell sites and other network pieces can be reused for LTE. China Mobile plans to roll out a TDD version of LTE by 2010.

"In our new TD-SCDMA network, we put all the measurement and configuration in place to have a simple migration to LTE,"  Bill Huang, general manager at China Mobile Research Institute, was quoted as saying in Unstrung. "More than 60 percent of the investment will be able to migrate to LTE in the future. That makes us the most ready operator for LTE."

The operator is planning to begin a proof-of-concept trial by the end of this year with lab and field trials scheduled for early next year.

The TD-LTE specs are scheduled to be done by the end of 2008 when the primary LTE system architecture for the frequency division duplex (FDD) is complete. And China Mobile appears to be a driving force in pushing vendors to get equipment out quickly. It's no wonder since it appears the Chinese government will mandate that China Mobile deploy TD-SCDMA as a 3G standard. Recently, the head of China Mobile admitted TD-SCDMA technology was "a few years behind" WCDMA and CDMA2000 because of problems with handsets. China Mobile has already spent some $2 billion on trials using TD-SCDMA in 10 Chinese cities since April. As of early July, three months into its commercial TD-SCDMA trials, China Mobile only had 52,000 users, of which 8,000 were paying for the service.

Many telecom experts believe China's operators will essentially leapfrog 3G as the government continually delays tenders and opts for a 4G deployment like LTE.

For more:
- check out Unstrung

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