SHANGHAI China's Ministry of Information Industry (MII) said the country is preparing to submit a 4G mobile standard to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) next year when the organization begins to collect proposals.
Officials from MII said they want to use the country's homegrown 3G standard, known as TD-SCDMA, as the basis for their 4G proposal. They hope substantial parts of it will be included in the final ITU specification, giving China a larger slice of the patent pie in an industry rapidly growing within its borders.
China has more than 400 million cell phone users. Ironically, none of them are even 3G users. China is still trying to increase the reliability of TD-SCDMA so that it can be commercially launched later this year. No 3G licenses will be issued until the local standard is ready.
Despite its 3G woes, China's been working on a 4G standard for years. Limited trials began in 2001, and it has achieved download speeds of 80Mbits per second while traveling at 50 kilometers per hour and upload speeds ranging from 20Mbits to 90Mbits per second.
"We are ahead in 4G's large-scale coverage, but still far behind in local transmission," said Xiaohu You, leader of China's Future Technology for Universal Radio Environment workgroup. He believes that if the project continues, speeds could soon increase to 1Gbps.