Light Reading

Defining 4G: What the Heck Is LTE TDD?

Dan Jones
10/16/2012
50%
50%

4:45 PM -- SoftBank Mobile Corp. $20.1 billion play for a 70 percent stake in Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is likely to result in another 4G acronym becoming common parlance on the U.S. wireless scene.

The new 4G flavor you'll need to know is called Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD). SoftBank has already deployed an early version of the technology in Japan, so here's a little primer on the fresh 4G.

What it is
The crucial way LTE TDD, which is also known as TD-LTE, differs from the frequency division duplex (FDD) version of LTE deployed today in the U.S. is in what spectrum the technology is deployed on and how the signal is transmitted. TDD technology uses a single channel and a timed signal to separate uploads and downloads. FDD systems have two channels of paired spectrum separated with a guard band for uploads and downloads.

Advocates of TDD technology say that the single channel makes the network more bandwidth-efficient. It also makes it a very suitable technology for data-only wireless devices, much like SoftBank has introduced with its TDD launch this year. (See Just What Is LTE TDD Anyway? and What We Mean When We Say '4G'.)

LTE TDD can be deployed on the 2.6GHz band in the U.S. Sprint's WiMax partner, Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR), holds large reserves of this bandwidth across the nation. It has already been testing LTE TDD in the U.S., although launch plans are less clear now. (See Clearwire Targets 31 Cities for LTE TDD .)

Deployments
Aside from SoftBank, which has been called the largest LTE TDD deployment to date by IDC , many of the networks using the technology are pretty small beans so far. The technology has so far arrived in Hong Kong, India, Russia and Spain. (See Euronews: Russians Turn On LTE TDD With NSN , CMHK Deploys Dual-Mode LTE TDD With ZTE and NSN Takes LTE TDD to Spain.)

The scale of the technology could, however, drastically increase in 2013. China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL), the major backer of the technology, has started to hand out contracts to build out the networks in Chinese cities. (See ZTE Wins LTE TDD Deal in China.)

Deployments in a massive market like China could help to kick-start the wider LTE TDD device and infrastructure market around the world.

For more
Catch up on our SoftBank-Sprint coverage below:



— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:19:01 PM
re: Defining 4G: What the Heck Is LTE TDD?


No LTE TDD support in any Sprint devices yet. But yes, Clearwire & SoftBank both work on 2.6GHz band for TDD so that *could* open things up in the future.

opticalwatcher
50%
50%
opticalwatcher,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:19:01 PM
re: Defining 4G: What the Heck Is LTE TDD?


Wasn't it in Sprint's plan to use Clearwire LTE TDD as an offload (or, really, an extenstion) of their network.


 


If that is true, then does every Sprint LTE phone also support LTE TDD (including the iPhone5)?


 


And if that is true, does that mean that every phone built for Sprint will also work on SoftBank's network?

twill009
50%
50%
twill009,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:18:59 PM
re: Defining 4G: What the Heck Is LTE TDD?


Last I checked T-Mobile was owned by Deutsche Telecom and Verizon Wireless was 50% owned by Vodaphone, so it it not clear to me that any prohibition against foreign ownership of spectrum has any effect upon the practical control of spectrum. 

lrmobile_janly0
50%
50%
lrmobile_janly0,
User Rank: Lightning
12/5/2012 | 5:18:58 PM
re: Defining 4G: What the Heck Is LTE TDD?

An LTE TDD network on 2.6GHz has recently been launched in Spain
http://www.prlog.org/11999998

gianlu
50%
50%
gianlu,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:18:58 PM
re: Defining 4G: What the Heck Is LTE TDD?

An LTE TDD network on 2.6GHz has recently been launched in Spain
http://www.prlog.org/11999998

joanengebretson
50%
50%
joanengebretson,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:18:54 PM
re: Defining 4G: What the Heck Is LTE TDD?


Interesting theory, Headcoach & it makes some sense


One thing to think about is that Sprint's additional investment in Clearwire is supposed to close in a month & the Softbank deal not until the early part of next year. If the latter were to fall through, Sprint would still have majority ownership of Clearwire -- a status it previously tried to avoid.


It's not clear yet what, if any, roadblocks the Softbank/ Sprint deal might encounter. But it's probably a good risk for both of the companies. As you note, this may be the best shot Softbank has at gaining the spectrum it wants in the U.S. market. And for Sprint it's a way to hasten its LTE network buildouts.


 


 

More Blogs from Jonestown
The connected car is driving the IoT market now, but that's just the start of it.
It's the Claure and Legere show! Sprint and T-Mobile CEOs trade barbs -- or at least retweets -- over rival Super Bowl ads.
Google is now backing or actively exploring three ways of delivering cheaper Internet connectivity to the world: satellites, drones and balloons.
Flying killers turn into duckface enablers!
The scary thing is that this massive Las Vegas show could get even bigger, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
LRTV Interviews
Light Reading ICT Leaders Roundtable at MWC 2015

2|12|15   |   1:07   |   (2) comments


On Sunday March 1, 2015, Light Reading will host an ICT Leaders Roundtable in partnership with Huawei. At this half-day event, CIOs, analysts and researchers will discuss key industry trends like virtualization in the cloud with a specific focus on new business models. Located at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel near the Fira Barcelona, space is limited so please ...
LRTV Documentaries
Going Green in 2015

2|12|15   |   02:04   |   (0) comments


Energy efficiency is set to be an incredibly hot topic in the telecom industry this year.
LRTV Custom TV
SDN & NFV: Where Are We Going From Here?

2|11|15   |   11:27   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss gives his perspective on why SDN and NFV should be tightly interconnected and how he sees the industry moving forward.
LRTV Documentaries
Time for Gigabit Europe?

2|9|15   |   01:27   |   (4) comments


Gigabit broadband networks are springing up all around the US and they'll soon become more commonplace in Europe.
LRTV Interviews
Brocade Brings New IP Vision to 2020 Vision Executive Summit

2|3|15   |   4:23   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading gathered telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Brocade's Kelly Herrell shared his company's strategy at ...
LRTV Interviews
Brocade's Kelly Herrell on the New IP

2|2|15   |   12:36   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Brocade VP of Software Networking Kelly Herrell at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Brocade's approach to the New IP, the future of the telecom industry, and more.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Cyber Security Expert Warns: You're Doing It Wrong
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/23/2015
10 Weirdly Useful IoT Devices
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 2/24/2015
Small Cells Enabling Location Services
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/25/2015
Is FCC Weighing Net Neutrality Changes?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 2/25/2015
MWC: Let the Madness Begin
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 2/23/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.
G'day! And welcome to an entirely new feature on Light Reading -- our weekly "CEO-to-CEO" interview.