TOKYO -- Two months after announcing plans for an expanded TD-LTE trial network, China Mobile said this week that seven manufacturers will supply gear for the advanced network, but stopped short of disclosing how the work will be divided.
A day later, ZTE and Alcatel-Lucent raced to announce that each had won a TD-LTE contract from the world’s largest cellular network operator.
Other winning bidders to help build the TD-LTE network include: Huawei Technologies, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), New Postcom Equipment Co. and Datang Mobile Communications Equipment Co. (Datang Mobile).
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China Mobile’s tender reportedly included contracts for some 20,000 base stations and 52,000 carrier sectors. The TD-LTE devices purchased by China Mobile will be deployed in an expanded TD-LTE trial network in 13 Chinese cities.
ZTE revealed that it will construct China Mobile’s TD-LTE networks in five Chinese cities: Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shenyang. They will include more than 13,000 carrier frequencies.
Alcatel-Lucent said it won a contract to deliver “the largest share of basestations” for TD-LTE trial network. Under the contract, Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, Alcatel-Lucent’s China subsidiary, will supply about 3,000 basestations in Shanghai, Nanjing and Qingdao in early 2013.
With more than 700 million subscribers, China Mobile has been aggressively pursuing an expanded TD-LTE trial network. By the end of 2012, the trial network will deploy 20,000 basestations covering 13 cities with a combined population of 150 million people.
China Mobile is in a hurry to roll out TD-LTE networks as smartphone demand soars. China is the world’s largest smartphone market, accounting for one-quarter of global smartphone shipments, according to market researcher Gartner.
China also leads the global market for mobile data services. "The new TD-LTE network deployed by Alcatel-Lucent will increase the speeds, capacity and quality of China Mobile's network,” Alcatel-Lucent claimed. It will also give China Mobile the ability to operate with a smaller footprint and lower power consumption, the supplier added.
Compared to China's TD-SCDMA spec, TD-LTE is designed to offer full IP capability; faster response time and lower latency, with peak downlink data rates of 100 Mbit/s.
TD-LTE networks are being built by both China Mobile and Japan's Softbank. Softbank this week reached a deal to buy 70 percent of U.S. mobile carrier Sprint Nextel Corp. for $20.1 billion in the largest ever foreign acquisition by a Japanese company.