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        ADD A COMMENT
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
Cisco CEO predicts the digitization of everything will change, like, everything!
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!
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The Swedish vendor has undergone a significant transformation during the past few years, adjusting to the demands of next-generation communications companies.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Du Puts Its Faith in Huawei's Routers

4|9|15   |   3:42   |   (0) comments


Adnan Masood, director of Enterprise MS Solutions Marketing at du, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) operator also known as Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, explains why his company chose to use Huawei's multifunctional AR routers as part of its managed enterprise services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Gets Active in the Data Center

4|9|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


With enterprise users looking to maximize the use of their data center assets, Huawei’s Chief Architect & Technical Director of IT Data Center Solutions, Bruce Su, explains how the company's six-layer active-active data center solution is eradicating the need to deploy passive, redundant data center assets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Blue Consult & Huawei for a Better Solution

4|8|15   |   4:01   |   (0) comments


Martin Rott, CEO, and Marc Metzler, head of sales virtualization, from Germany's Blue Consult discuss their collaboration with Huawei and TrendMicro to develop a secure, scalable IT platform that can meet the needs of the most demanding enterprise users.
Upcoming Live Events
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
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
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network Instruments, a JDSU division, shares results from its 2015 State of the Network, a global survey on security.
Hot Topics
Verizon Scores New OTT Content Deals
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/16/2015
What if the Comcast Merger Fails?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/20/2015
Nokia & Alcatel-Lucent: What's Going On?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/15/2015
Huawei P8 Launch: Cue Applause!
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/16/2015
LPWA: A Threat to 'Wait & See' IoT Operators?
Steve Bell, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading, 4/16/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Cats with Phones
Stig's Big Decision Click Here
Stig's big decision for the day was to decide which item would be more fun to chew: the smartphone or the Rubik's Cube.
Latest Comment