Light Reading

APAC Fuels 4G Action

Ray Le Maistre
12/18/2013
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With LTE licenses finally awarded in China, there's plenty of 4G action in the Far East, but it's not limited to the world's single largest market. Japan and Taiwan are also hot markets for the mobile infrastructure vendors. (See China Issues 4G TDD Licences.)

China
Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) has been detailing its engagement with China Telecom Corp. Ltd., which is rolling out a 4G network that comprises both TDD and FDD LTE access infrastructure. NSN is providing its Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Stations along with associated deployment services and the vendor's NetAct OSS.

The supplier is one of at least five key infrastructure suppliers to China Telecom, but NSN's share of the overall initial rollout is believed to be quite small -- Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., ZTE Corp., and Alcatel-Lucent are believed to have snagged the majority of the work. (See AlcaLu Gains LTE Traction in China and Alcatel-Lucent Makes 4G Gains in China.)

Also worth noting is that China Mobile Ltd. has launched NFC (near field communications) services and is using test gear from Comprion GmbH to qualify handsets for NFC services over LTE. (See China Mobile Tests With Comprion.)

Taiwan
NSN has also picked up some 4G action at Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd. (NYSE: CHT), where the vendor is providing LTE radio access network equipment and the systems needed for circuit-switched fallback (CSFB) 4G voice services. (See NSN Wins LTE Deal at Chunghwa .)

But it seems the lion's share of Chunghwa's 4G action has gone the way of Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), which is boasting "main LTE supplier" status, having landed a deal for radio access equipment, rollout services, and the operator's entire evolved packet core (Mobility Management Entity, Evolved Packet Gateway on the vendor's SSR 8020 router platform, and IMS elements). (See Ericsson Wins LTE Deal at Chunghwa .)

Japan
Ericsson has also been busy again in Japan, where it has been selected as "one of the prime vendors" to provide FDD LTE access gear (its RBS6000 platform) and evolved packet core to KDDI Corp. , which hasn't sourced radio access equipment from the Swedish vendor previously. Ericsson will be pleased with the engagement since, as it noted recently, its business was on the decline in Japan following the completion of a previous project. (See Ericsson Suffers Sales Pressure.)

Singapore
The introduction of Self-Organizing Network (SON) capabilities is set to become a bigger story in 2014, but there are already initial deployments. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) (OTC: SGTJY) is one of the early movers, having turned to Ericsson for self-healing capabilities for its 3G network. (See SingTel Deploys Ericsson's SON for 3G.)

There have been other recent mobile developments of note in the Asia/Pacific region, as you will see in the stories below.

Related posts:

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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R Clark
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R Clark,
User Rank: Blogger
12/19/2013 | 5:48:24 AM
Re: 4G landgrab...
An update on FDD in China: even though the tenders haven't been let and the licences haven't even been issued, vendors have already won contracts that cover the FDD rollouts for Telecom and Unicom. THe NSN one for China Telecom this week for one, covers both TDD and FDD. Makes sense, but also makes for underwhelmingly vague press announcements.
R Clark
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R Clark,
User Rank: Blogger
12/18/2013 | 10:14:59 PM
Re: 4G landgrab...
Coming up in 2014 will be the China Unicom and China Telecom TDD contracts and the much bigger FDD contracts (the hitch being they don't have the FDD licences yet).

Taiwan has just issued 4G licences, too, so five operators apart from Chunghwa, and including two greenfields players, will be looking for vendors.
Ray@LR
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Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
12/18/2013 | 10:11:06 AM
4G landgrab...
It's a real scrap for LTE share in APAC, but lots of opportunity. Notable that vendors are making more of a deal about packet core succes these days -- RAN is where the big numbers are but the packet core is incredibly important for long-term traction.
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