Time Division-Long Term Evolution, or TD-LTE, is a Chinese homegrown 4G wireless standard. It is also called LTE TDD, which together with LTE Frequency Division Duplex, or LTE FDD, have become the two major international LTE standards.
ZTE, the world’s fifth-largest telecom equipment manufacturer by sales, said it had worked with 33 telecom operators, in 19 countries, on deploying TD-LTE commercial networks or conducting trials by May.
The company has participated in eight out of the nine TD-LTE commercial network projects worldwide, said ZTE Vice-President Liu Peng .
According to statistics from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association, telecom operators worldwide had deployed 89 commercial LTE networks in 45 countries by June. The figure included nine commercial TD-LTE networks in Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
“We had absolute advantages … since the number of ZTE’s TD-LTE projects accounted for more than 70 percent of the world’s total,” said Liu.
ZTE announced on Thursday that it had been selected as one of two telecom equipment suppliers by China Mobile Hong Kong Ltd, a subsidiary of the world’s largest mobile operator China Mobile Ltd, to build a seamless converged LTE TDD and LTE FDD network in Hong Kong. The other selected supplier was Sweden-based Telefon AB LM Ericsson.
China Mobile Hong Kong launched 4G services riding on the LTE FDD network in April this year. TD-LTE technology will be added to the existing LTE FDD network to build a dual mode network by the end of this year.
The Hong Kong converged 4G network is the first dual-mode LTE network in the Asia-Pacific region, following the world’s first dual LTE network launched in Sweden in December.
It is also the first commercial TD-LTE network set up and operated by China Mobile, and because of that, it will play a critical role in China Mobile’s overall plan to promote TD-LTE technology both at home and abroad, analysts said.
Chen Jinqiao, deputy chief engineer of the China Academy of Telecommunication Research, said: “It is a real, tangible commercial TD-LTE network, and China Mobile will learn operating experience from it and may do a better job in the commercial use of TD-LTE technology in the Chinese mainland.”
China Mobile is making full preparations for the future service, although the authorities have yet to issue 4G licenses in the mainland.
China Mobile started building the world’s largest TD-LTE trial network in six Chinese cities in January 2011.