& cplSiteName &

Apple-China Mobile Deal: A Boost for LTE TDD in 2014

Dan Jones
12/23/2013
50%
50%

China Mobile's multi-year deal with Apple could help encourage more domestic users to move to 3G and 4G, and it could open up a huge new market for the iPhone maker.

China Mobile Ltd. will sell the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone 5S and 5C on the mainland. Apple will support the operator's 4G Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) network and 3G (TD-SCDMA) network with the smartphones. (See: Defining 4G: What the Heck Is LTE TDD?)

China Mobile says it has more than 1.2 million GSM (2G), TD-SCDMA, and LTE TDD base stations and more than 4.2 million WiFi access points deployed. By the end of 2013, the operator says, its 4G services will be available in 16 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. By the end of 2014, it plans to have rolled out more than 500,000 4G base stations, which will cover more than 340 cities with 4G service. (See: China Holds Key to LTE TDD.)

China Mobile has nearly 760 million wireless subscribers, making it the largest mobile operator in the world. However, most of these users are still on 2G connections. Apple's push into the market may help encourage more users on to the 3G and nascent 4G networks, assuming that consumers are willing to spend on the phones and the plans.

Apple also says the China Mobile iPhone supports major cellular network standards, making a global phone a reality for China Mobile customers.

Even if the China Mobile iPhones generate only modest sales, they will still likely give 4G LTE TDD (also called TD-LTE) a boost. Notably, it will make a 4G LTE TDD iPhone more likely in other parts of the world, too.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is deploying the technology as part of its Spark network update. It is currently using Clearwire's LTE TDD network and working on infrastructure updates. (See: Sprint Sparks It in Chicago and Unknown Document 705875.)

Apple and China Mobile will start pre-sales of the phones on Dec. 25. The devices will be available in stores on Jan. 17.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
12/26/2013 | 5:16:20 PM
Re: Gotta be good for Sprint too right?
Any decent figures for mobile video consumption in China today?
R Clark
50%
50%
R Clark,
User Rank: Blogger
12/23/2013 | 9:56:47 PM
Re: Gotta be good for Sprint too right?
Spot on. I think the TD camp realised many years ago that 3G would be a bust and that 4G would be the big opportunity. With the huge amount of unpaired spectrum available it could come into play as a supplementary for urban areas in North America and Europe. It's already set to play that role in most of the big Asian markets.
milan03
50%
50%
milan03,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/23/2013 | 2:38:00 PM
Re: Gotta be good for Sprint too right?
Oh definitely! Next year we should have a Sprint triband iPhone. The only doubt I have is whether they'll use Cat 6 or Cat 4 baseband chipsets...
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
12/23/2013 | 1:48:12 PM
Gotta be good for Sprint too right?
Makes a LTE TDD iPhone more likely in the US too, right?
More Blogs from Jonestown
It's the summer of 5G in the US!
Verizon says that its new mobile 5G service, coming in April, will be truly unlimited.
AT&T and Verizon start the year by pulling back on millimeter 5G promises.
Expect a wide range of download speeds from AT&Ts Nighthawk 5G unit as you use the hotspot in AT&T's initial 5G cities.
For 5G, the bigger the bandwith the better!
Featured Video
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 17-19, 2019, Dallas, Texas
October 1-2, 2019, New Orleans, Louisiana
October 10, 2019, New York, New York
October 22, 2019, Los Angeles, CA
November 5, 2019, London, England
November 7, 2019, London, UK
December 3, 2019, New York, New York
December 3-5, 2019, Vienna, Austria
March 16-18, 2020, Embassy Suites, Denver, Colorado
May 18-20, 2020, Irving Convention Center, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events