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LTE TDD Blazes New Path at Mobile World Congress
Time : 2012-03-12

LTE TDD technologies captured the attention of all attendees during the 2012 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. Over 100 global operators, regulatory bodies, mainstream equipment makers, and chipset and terminal vendors attended the Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) Summit. Some highlights:

  • China Mobile President Li Yue announced the scaling up of TD-LTE pilot trials to 20,000 sites in nine cities by 2012 and 200,000 sites in 2013 by constructing and upgrading its TDS-CDMA networks.
  • Ted Matsumoto, chief strategic advisor to the CEO of Softbank, praised Huawei’s contributions to their success during an announcement for the commercial launch of SoftBank’s AXGP network.
  • Bharti CEO Sanjay Kapoor announced the commercial launch in India will be in 2012.
  • Huawei Hisilicon chairman Xu Zhijun and Qualcomm chairman Paul Jacobs released their latest LTE TDD/LTE FDD/TD-SCDMA/GSM/WCDMA multi-mode commercial chipsets that will accelerate the convergence of LTE TDD and LTE FDD. Hisilicon is the first industry vendor to support multi-mode Category 4 chips capable of 150Mbps; Qualcomm is the first to support 6-mode chips that include CDMA.

Global operators also announced a GTI action plan during the summit that predicts over 500,000 LTE TDD sites and 100 types of devices cover 2 billion people worldwide by 2014.

The industry of devices associated with LTE TDD took great strides during the MWC. Other than already available multi-mode commercial products—like the CPE, USB Dongle, and Mobile WiFi—mainstream device manufactures announced their plans for LTE TDD smartphones. Samsung announced that LTE TDD smartphones and Mobile WiFi will be launched in 2012; Huawei announced that its Ascend smartphone series will also support LTE TDD.

Mainstream industry analysts purported that TDD spectrum is now extremely valuable to mobile operators, and that every device will support both TDD and FDD LTE in the near future. Mobile operators were advised to shore up their TDD spectrum resources (now considered a core resource) to be prepared for an impending superabundance of data traffic.

In 2012, the auction price for 90MHz at 2.3G in Hong Kong reached $470 million HKD after several rounds of fierce competition. Mainstream mobile operators have even begun to consider the acquisition of smaller operators just to obtain their TDD spectrum. Major Australian mobile operator Optus is buying Vividwireless for $230 million AUD due to its ownership of most of the country’s TDD spectrum. Ownership of LTE TDD has become an important part of mobile operators’ business strategies.

By the end of 2011, 18 LTE TDD networks were deployed. Following deployment in countries with large populations like China, Japan, US, India, Russia, and Brazil, LTE TDD will begin growing even more rapidly and blaze a new path for the global wireless industry in 2012.


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