Light Reading

China Issues 4G TDD Licences

Robert Clark
News Analysis
Robert Clark
12/5/2013
50%
50%

The 4G era in China has officially kicked off, at least symbolically, with the issue of LTE TDD licenses and spectrum to the three state-owned operators.

The Ministry of Industry and IT (MIIT) also lifted restrictions preventing China Mobile Ltd. from entering the fixed-line broadband market.

However, the ministry said that licenses for LTE FDD operations would be issued only when "conditions are ripe."

The decision to give licenses to China Mobile, China Telecom Corp. Ltd. and China Unicom Ltd. had been widely expected by year-end. (See China Holds Key to LTE TDD.)

China Mobile, which has been the most aggressive in rolling out 4G, will almost certainly be the first to offer commercial service. It is midway through a 100-city LTE TDD rollout and is already selling "trial" data services in several cities.

In addition, China Mobile is believed to have struck a deal with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) to offer the iPhone on its network, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In contrast, China Telecom and China Unicom, which are both planning hybrid TDD-FDD deployments, are unlikely to start commercial service in the first half of 2014.

The issue of new licenses and spectrum to incumbent operators without any selection process, while rare in North America and Western Europe, is not unusual in East Asian markets.

What was unusual was the issuing by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of a document defending its decision.

In response to the question of why only TDD licences were issued, the ministry said that this was because the operators had only applied for TDD permits. It denied that this was a breach of WTO "technology neutrality" rules and said it would approve issue FDD licenses only when "conditions are ripe" following FDD network trials and "system verification" of hybrid LTE FDD and TDD.

Yet earlier this year the heads of both China Unicom and China Telecom spoke publicly about their plans to deploy FDD, changing their minds after the MIIT officials had made it clear that only TDD licenses would initially be on offer.

Reportedly, the ministry rejected China Telecom's initial 4G network rollout plan because it did not contain enough TDD equipment.

As well as the licenses, the MIIT also handed out spectrum. As had been expected, the lion's share goes to China Mobile. It gets 130MHz, or nearly two-thirds of the frequencies handed out. China Unicom and China Telecom both get 40MHz each, as follows:

  • China Mobile: 1880-1900 MHz, 2320-2370 MHz, 2575-2635 MHz
  • China Unicom: 2300-2320 MHz, 2555-2575 MHz
  • China Telecom: 2370-2390 MHz, 2635-2655 MHz

Separately, the MIIT cancelled the ban on China Mobile entering the fixed-line broadband market. The restriction had been in place since the operator acquired Tietong Telecom, the failing ex-Ministry of Railways service provider. (See Major Carrier Shakeup Expected in China.)

— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
Verizon Hums a Driving Tune
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/26/2015
Gogo Approved to Speed Up In-Flight WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/24/2015
Could Market Volatility Hurt Tech IPOs?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/24/2015
Sprint's Claure: '3 to 5 Years' to Turnaround
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about data center, cloud and the impact of virtualization in the coming years.
Cats with Phones
Cats Are a Smartphone's Best Friend Click Here
Whoever said cats didn't live to please their humans?