August 23, 2013
China Mobile has reportedly finally awarded $3.2 billion in contracts to deploy its forthcoming 4G LTE network.
Reuters cites sources saying that China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) has awarded the lion's share of the contracts to domestic vendors Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), and Nokia Networks each have received about 10 percent of the massive contract each too.
The China Mobile network will be the largest 4G LTE network yet seen -- the operator has more than 700 million existing customers on 2G and 3G networks. China Mobile has said that it expects to install 200,000 LTE basestations this year.
Why this matters
Not only is this a massive deal that all the major infrastructure providers covet, it is also the largest planned deployment for LTE TDD (aka LTE-TD) yet envisaged. China Mobile, because of the spectrum it has available, is using a different flavor of LTE technology to the vast majority of other operators deploying the 4G technology round the world. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is the only US operator planning to deploy this flavor of LTE, using Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR)'s 2.6GHz spectrum.
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