September 14, 2011
China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) and Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) have teamed up on the development of standardized devices using the TD-LTE technology -- Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) -- that the massive Chinese operator and its far smaller American partner favor for their next network deployment. (See Just What Is LTE TDD Anyway?)
Clearwire CTO John Saw tells Light Reading Mobile that -- first and foremost -- Clearwire will benefit from the economies of scale that China Mobile, which has nearly 930 million subscribers, can bring to the TD-LTE ecosystem. "They buy in scales of hundreds of millions; certainly no carrier in the U.S. can match that," Saw says. (See Clearwire's LTE Move Good for China Mobile.)
The pair are also supporting standardizing on 2.5GHz, which should give Clearwire many more devices to chose from. "We're looking at ... 2.3GHz to 2.7GHz as a world band," Saw adds, suggesting that China Mobile can help to break down of the frequency proliferation that might trip up LTE as a global standard. (See China Mobile Trials LTE TDD With NSN .)
The first fruits of this deal should arrive in 2012. Saw is expecting USB dongles, mobile Wi-Fi hot spots, tablets and smartphones amongst the device parade.
Saw is already describing TD-LTE as "LTE Advanced-ready," but testing out technology to enable 100Mbit/s wireless downloads through the coming upgrade will be part of the work with China Mobile. Saw says the pair are looking at technology like "multi-antenna processing for spectral efficiency" to get to the further boosted data speeds.
Of course, as Saw notes, Clearwire still needs money to start deploying its planned LTE TDD overlay in the U.S. He wouldn't comment when LR Mobile asked if China Mobile could put up some cash. (See Clearwire Goes It Alone With Faster 4G.) — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile
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