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4G/3G/WiFi

Taiwan Takes to LTE

3:45 PM -- Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd. (NYSE: CHT), Taiwan's largest mobile operator, is to start rolling out an LTE network in 2011, according to the company's chairman, Shyue-Ching Lu, cited in this DigiTimes report.

The question, though, is which flavor of LTE Chunghwa will use: TDD or FDD or both?

"Taiwan's authorities have committed to test TD-LTE in the near future and that some of the country's operators could adopt the TD variant as part of the LTE deployments," says Daniel Yu, senior analyst at Pyramid Research ,

He also says that Taiwan's smallest mobile operator, Vibo, is involved in TD-LTE trials being run by China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL), although Chunghwa is not believed to be as yet.

Pressure from the Chinese mainland is rising on Taiwan to support TD-LTE that will be used by China Mobile. In addition, Taiwan's vendor community is keen to cash in on early demand that will come from China for TD-LTE.

Indeed, Yu says the latter explains Vibo's involvement as it is owned by the Kingpo Group, which is an OEM. "I believe they want to tap into TD handset market in China, and collaborating with China Mobile will be the fastest way," Yu says.

And Kingpo isn't the only Taiwanese vendor jumping on the LTE bandwagon. According to another DigiTimes report, terminal vendor High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) and indoor RF solutions supplier Coiler, together with IC OEMs AsusTek Computer Inc. and HT mMobile, have joined the 3GPP to get more involved in the development of LTE.

— Catherine Haslam, Asia Editor, Light Reading

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