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China Mobile energizes the LTE TDD market

Key words: China Mobile, LTE TDD commercial trials

Abstract:

China Mobile has been a champion of LTE TDD in recent years, and is heading for a 13-city commercial rollout.

Short version:

Challenges/opportunities:

  • LTE TDD nationwide deployment.

Trial milestones:

  • At the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, LTE TDD service debut using LTE TDD CPE devices;
  • In March 2012, Hangzhou’s B1 bus line became the first to support LTE TDD;
  • On May 16, 2012, Shenzhen Mobile initiated LTE TDD operations at the Kingkey 100 tower in Shenzhen, enabling superior user experience;
  • On June 18, 2012, world’s first demonstration of seamless roaming between LTE TDD and FDD technologies.

Medium version:

At the 2012 Hangzhou TDD Night ceremony on June 18, 2012, senior management from China Mobile Zhejiang and China Mobile Hong Kong successfully demonstrated roaming between the former’s LTE TDD network in Hangzhou and the latter’s LTE FDD network. Onsite services included video calling and HD VOD, featuring real-time interaction through clear, smooth images.

Huawei has made significant contributions to China Mobile’s LTE TDD achievements, as the vendor’s Mobile Wi-Fi (Mi-Fi) device, the first of its type in the industry to support LTE TDD and LTE FDD inter-frequency roaming, was employed for the aforementioned demonstration, which also utilized a Huawei-constructed LTE TDD network.

Vigorous LTE TDD growth

Since 2009, China Mobile has been actively engaged in the application of LTE TDD.

At the 2010 World Expo, China Mobile’s LTE TDD network dazzled international audiences with the Chinese debuts of such LTE services as mobile HD conferencing, mobile HD video surveillance, shoot-and-transmit functionality, and HD VOD.

As China Mobile’s strategic partner, Huawei played a crucial role at the expo through the first large-scale field demonstration of LTE TDD in China. Huawei independently built an LTE TDD network for the Expo Park, covering 5.28 square kilometers, which comprised 17 LTE TDD base stations, making for an intelligent, converged Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network. Moreover, Huawei was the first in the industry to launch LTE TDD Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) devices, all of which were employed at the expo.

Huawei’s competence at the expo helped convince China Mobile to let the vendor act as the exclusive supplier of LTE TDD equipment for the 16th Asian Games, which Guangzhou hosted in November 2010, where Huawei provided a full E2E solution, including base stations, an EPC network, a Packet Transport Network (PTN) bearer network, and various service platforms for telepresence and video surveillance. This solution proved to be a hit, both to industry experts and the general public, as China Mobile would again select Huawei for the 2011 Universiade games, held in Shenzhen in August of that year.

LTE TDD commercial trials

In 2011, China Mobile officially kicked off large-scale testing of LTE TDD. It deployed trial networks in six cities, including Hangzhou and Shenzhen, and they have been well received by users, operators, the government, and the industry at large.

In March 2012, Hangzhou’s B1 bus line became the first to support LTE TDD, giving its fortunate passengers free online surfing through Wi-Fi.

On May 16, 2012, one day before World Telecommunications and Information Society Day, China Mobile Shenzhen (Shenzhen Mobile) initiated LTE TDD operations at the Kingkey 100 tower in Shenzhen’s Luohu district. By deploying and optimizing 102 distributed indoor systems in an area of three square kilometers, Huawei assisted Shenzhen Mobile in covering a large number of the area’s major commercial buildings and residential premises, facilitating a superior user experience for its upscale users.

LTE TDD takes off

These successful trials have greatly boosted industry and government confidence in LTE TDD. China Mobile will soon expand its pilot networks to 13 cities, with more than 20,000 base stations expected to be built.

As a vendor, Huawei is also confident of LTE TDD’s prospects. Wang Tao, President of Huawei’s Wireless Network Business Unit, has asserted the company’s strategic determination in LTE TDD development. In terms of systems, Huawei SingleRAN supports platform sharing for both flavors of LTE, as well as GSM and UMTS. It has also introduced the industry’s first multi-mode dongle for LTE TDD, LTD FDD, UMTS, GSM, and CDMA, as well as the first multi-mode devices, namely CPE and Mi-Fi. The latter in particular has distinguished itself with its roaming functions, enabling a quantum leap in LTE integration and convenience, and a brighter future for LTE TDD.

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Issue 14(11/2012)
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