China will not issue 4G licenses for another 2 to 3 years, says official

China is currently holding large-scale trials using 4G LTE TDD technology

China will likely wait another two or three years to issue 4G licenses for LTE TDD networks, a top government official said, citing the need to build more 4G base stations, and to allow vendors time to develop handsets that can take advantage of the high-speed networks.

The country currently has 220,000 TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) base stations, but the government wants to expand their numbers to a total of 400,000 before offering 4G licenses, Miao Wei, the head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said during an interview on Thursday with local state-owned TV.

The ministry is currently holding large-scale 4G trials using LTE TDD (Long-Term Evolution Time-Division Duplex) technology, also known as TD-LTE in China.

LTE TDD is one of two LTE variants. Mobile operators in other countries including the U.S., are relying on the other variant, LTE FDD (Frequency Division Duplex), to offer their 4G services.

China plans to roll out LTE TDD by upgrading existing base stations that use the 3G TD-SCDMA standard, Miao said. The effort will take about three years time, he added.

The ministry also needs to take steps to get handset and chip vendors to support LTE TDD phones, a barrier that has been holding back China's 4G development, according to Miao. "We need their active participation, to speed up development of the commercial trials," he said.

China is reaching 1 billion mobile phone users, according to mobile carrier statistics. The country's 3G networks, which went online in 2009, however account for only 135 million users.

The deployment of LTE TDD is also being pushed by China Mobile, the country's largest mobile carrier. The state-owned company has been working to build partnerships to promote the LTE TDD as a global standard.

These efforts aim to build an "eco-system" to support software and hardware development for the LTE technology. China Mobile has also said Apple's future iPhone will support the LTE TDD standard.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?