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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?