Chinese 4G mobile standard goes global

By Shen Jingting (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-10-22 07:58
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Chinese 4G mobile standard goes global

A booth at the PT/Expo Comm China 2010 in Beijing on Oct 14 promotes 4G services. Wu Changqing / For China Daily

Homegrown communication benchmark accepted worldwide

BEIJING - China's homegrown fourth-generation (4G) mobile communication standard has been selected as one of six global benchmarks by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Thursday.

LTE-Advanced and 802.16m - the categories which cover the six different 4G technology standards - were both approved at an ITU conference in Chongqing this week, according to the ministry.

The ministry also said ITU will complete its 4G International Standard Proposal Book by the end of 2011, which will be officially released at the beginning of 2012. Then, the 4G international standards will be formally established.

The TD-LTE-Advanced technology has a download speed of 100 megabytes per second, faster than the preceding third-generation TD-SCDMA technology.

Industry analysts said Chinese telecom enterprises are set to benefit from the TD-LTE 4G standard, as it will help to open both domestic and overseas markets for them.

"The situation now is very different from 10 years ago, when TD-SCDMA was set up as a 3G international standard," said Yang Hua, secretary-general of TD Industry Association in China.

He said because China lacked an industry eco-system at that time, the use of TD-SCDMA technology was largely restrained to the domestic market.

International enterprises were wary of investing in a technology developed in China, especially when it had not undergone a market test.

"But now, we have a good technological base, which means the period of the 4G industrialization process will be greatly shortened," said Yang. "That offers opportunities for Chinese companies to expand their businesses overseas."

China Mobile launched its TD-SCDMA service in January 2009, and the largest mobile operator in the world will have invested 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) in it by the end of this year.

Prior to September, the company had 15.27 million TD-SCDMA subscribers. Overall, it has 507 million subscribers, most of them using second-generation technologies.

Chen Jinqiao, deputy chief engineer from the China Academy of Telecommunication Research, said equipment manufacturers such as Datang and Huawei will among the first to profit from the use of TD-LTE-Advanced.

"They have invested large sums of money in the research phase, but they will benefit when the 4G network goes into construction," Chen said.

Telecom operators will reap rewards when they provide richer applications for customers. Their services will become faster, smoother and with higher resolution in the 4G age, Chen said.

Nearly all the best known international telecom companies, such as Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung, are engaged in the TD-LTE industry. They are determined not to miss out on the Chinese market again as they did in TD-SCDMA era, Yang at TD Industry Association said.

"They lost many China Mobile contracts when bidding against companies such as Huawei and ZTE, because they ignored the development of TD-SCDMA and offered very few competent products," Yang said.

Shi Guang, secretary-general of TD Forum, said Chinese telecom companies in the TD-LTE industry chain will be presented with a great business opportunity when they enter the international market.

"They will go head-to-head with global companies. Who dares say that another Huawei or ZTE may not emerge in the process?" Shi asked.

According to a survey by Ovum, an international market consulting company, the TD-LTE technology will earn about $150 billion in revenue by 2015.

China Daily