Busy Signal as China Mobile Readies 4G Launch
The introduction of China Mobile's 4G network is officially on schedule, but testing delays may signal a slowdown
By staff reporter Zhao Hejuan and intern reporter Qin Min
Telecoms Pressured to Widen Broadband Access
Telecom Carriers Appeal for Halt of Antitrust Probe
China Mobile Sees Slow Growth in 3G Users
China 4G Technology Debuts at Universiade
Wrong Key Fumble for China Mobile in Pakistan
China Mobile, the country's largest telecom, convened a series of secret equipment manufacturer meetings at its research institute in November.
On the agenda were test results for component vendors seeking to supply a network based on TD-LTE, a 4G mobile phone standard developed by China Mobile.
China Mobile had tested the products to decide which might be used for a growing, nationwide 4G network – an upgrade from the current top-of-the-line 3G network.
In an unusual move, though, telecom officials chose not to hold a group discussion but rather meet representatives from each equipment maker one-on-one.
China Mobile spent two years laying the groundwork for implementing TD-LTE nationwide. Major tests were held throughout 2011 at research facilities in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Xiamen. But to date, the telecom has been mum about its results.
Even vendors are in the dark. At the meetings, all test results and rankings for the invited vendors were in the state-run carrier's hands, said a supplier source who attended the meeting, "but we didn't know them."
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and China Mobile recently announced that 10 manufacturers have completed work on 850 base stations for the nationwide, 4G network expected to take shape over the next few years.
China Mobile Vice President Li Zhengmao said at the November meeting that the network's progress has been "in line with expectations."
But according to previous reports, the company had expected a lot more by early 2012. An fourth quarter 2010 report by Orient Securities, for example, said the telecom planned to build 3,060 TD-LTE base stations for major testing in Hangzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanjing and Xiamen.
China Mobile's five-year company plan for the period through 2015 set a timetable for TD-LTE that would include commercial trials in urban areas in 2012 and 2013, and coverage in most Chinese cities by 2015. To meet these goals, major testing should have been completed last year. But it wasn't.
Why the slowdown? China Mobile won't say. But Chang Gang, China marketing director for equipment supplier Ericsson, told Caixin, "there is certainly no problem with the seven major vendors, but others entered late and only began building base stations in July."
Vendors that passed MIIT testing in March and began building components for the network include domestic suppliers Huawei Technologies, ZTE and Datang Telecom Technology, along with international firms Nokia Siemens, Alcatel-Lucent, Motorola and Ericsson.
Caixin obtained documents from Datang showing each of these vendors completed construction projects and started testing in early June.
But the vendors Guangzhou New Postcom Equipment, Fiberhome Telecom Technologies and China Potevio did not pass MIIT's tests until May 26.
Yahoo users consider if we should go to Yahoo and ask them to ban this sierra wink #$%$ as a danger to himself and others. Here are the reasons:
He may be pretending to be interested in the stock but only post false negative news to make the stock go down. It is legal to be a short. Not legal to post false news to make a stock go down. Why would anyone that wanted the stock to go up post like he does.
If you are interested in going to yahoo, please reply.
Here is what is wrong with this rant to a follow up message to moonstraight up.
1.) The article is outdated a year or so.
2.) 4G is not even built out completely in the US. Most people using wireless internet in US use 3G. Novatel Makes wireless modems for 3G.
3.) China Mobile received a license for 3G from The Ministry of Industry way back in 2009. Here is an old document to prove that. Also, As straightoMoon Indicated They has used novatel modems in the past.
There is a definite problem with this guy Sierra WinkWink. If you would like to try and have hime banned lets all get together and report him.
Here is the article from January of 2009. YES 2009. What a scheister that guy is. Why isn't 3G relevant when most US users use that and Novatel Has the MODEMS.
China Wednesday officially awarded the long-awaited licenses for third generation (3G) mobile networks to three telephone operators, paving the way for investments of around 280 billion yuan in network upgradation and expansion over the next two years.
China Mobile got a license to deploy 3G networks based on TD-SCDMA, a home-grown 3G standard. Smaller rivals China Unicom and China Telecom were granted licenses for WCDMA and CDMA2000 respectively.
The Chinese government expects the new telecom investments after the 3G licensing to help stimulate the country's slowing economy.
Li Yizhong, minister of industry and information technology, said at an earlier industry conference in December that China would spend 280 billion yuan on 3G networks in 2008 and 2009.
b/c it indicated the problems they are facing. Here is one from 2/5/13, showing the government still hasn't issued any licenses for their network.
Hangzhou, Wenzhou get a taste of latest mobile network technology
China Mobile Ltd expanded commercial trials of its fourth-generation mobile network on Saturday to include Hangzhou and Wenzhou in Zhejiang province as it prepares for a full-scale 4G rollout across the country.
China Mobile will not be providing voice services during its 4G-network trial. That's because the TD-LTE network still needs further development, according to analysts. However, people in Hangzhou and Wenzhou can still apply for limited services, such as MiFi, to go online on certain devices.
According to a report from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association, 13 operators throughout the world had launched TD-LTE-based commercial services by 2012, making the technology one of the world's mainstream 4G telecommunication standards.
"China Mobile's goal in Hangzhou and Wenzhou is to test the stability of its 4G network," said Bryan Wang, vice-president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. Meanwhile, the commercial trial will allow China Mobile to collect customer feedback and gauge market response to the 4G service, Wang said.
China Mobile, the major promoter for the homegrown TD-LTE technology, is currently conducting large-scale 4G trials in 13 Chinese cities. The company said last year that it hoped to have a total of more than 200,000 TD-LTE base stations through new construction and upgrade by 2013.
Since the company has not received a license from the government to provide 4G services, China Mobile said the latest move in Zhejiang province was still a commercial trial of the homegrown TD-LTE technology.
Analysts anticipated an earlier issue of 4G licenses from the Chinese government. Miao Wei, the minister of industry and information technology, said in March last year that the authorities will begin approving 4G licenses in about two to three years. But in a September interview, Miao said the licenses will be ready for issue in one year.
"We expect the government to issue 4G permits in the second half of this year," said Ji Chendong, a telecom analyst at KPMG. It is very likely that China Telecom Corp Ltd, the nation's smallest mobile operator, will also get a TD-LTE 4G license, he said.
"There are still many obstacles for China Mobile to overcome. For example, the company should further encourage the development of 4G devices, design service contracts and determine pricing strategies," Ji said.
In a June interview last year, Xi Guohua, chairman of China Mobile Ltd, said use of TD-LTE networks will take off and expand at a rapid pace once 4G-capable devices are widespread.
"The lack of TD-LTE devices could hamper the company's 4G rollout," Xi said.
Let me guess you are the idiot's twin brother? The stuff I allegedly made up is from an article entitle Busy Signal at China Mobile. The ZTE contract was posted b/c ZTE makes hotspots and MiFis in China. Try a Google search. It is true America is now inhabited by idiots, carrying guns, iphones, and listening to Glen Beck and Rush Llimbaugh.
Nomura Securities analyst Huang Leping said China Mobile may have decided to delay announcing test results to review vendor assessments. "After the (test) report is released, everyone will know who passed and who didn't," he said. "This involves the balance of interests, as well as the MIIT's overall consideration."
MIIT's "consideration" refers to what China will do about its huge investment in the 3G network, which 4G would complement and may eventually replace.
An early 2011 report by the investment bank UBS said the average utilization rate for China's three 3G networks – one built for each of the three, state-owned mobile carriers – is less than 15 percent.
But the operators laid out huge sums to build the networks. China Mobile spent more than 145 billion yuan to build a homegrown TD-SCDMA standard 3G network, China Telecom ponied up 79.8 billion yuan on a CDMA 2000 network, and China Unicom spent 67.3 billion yuan for a WCDMA network.
Nomura's report said China Mobile would spend 55 billion yuan for components to build a 4G, TD-LTE service by first half 2013.
Meanwhile, an obstacle to commercial trials of 4G parts that would be made by handset vendors is the unfinished work of Chinese government regulators in charge of establishing a spectrum for TD-LTE telecommunications. Phone suppliers would have to build components specifically for the China Mobile system according to these spectrum specifications.
Cai Yuemin, Datang's TD-LTE products chief engineer, said MIIT says major testing for phones was completed after two vendors met testing goals. But the spectrum issue still stands in the way. "The spectrum should be made clear the first time to give everyone a clear signal," he said.
A similar situation faced phone makers after the American telecom carrier Verizon announced plans in 2010 to use the LTE standard. The company said it planned to offer LTE commercial services in 38 cities, and manufacturers of handsets responded in kind by offering a variety of LTE-based models.
"Without a clear signal, and if policy is fuzzy, it's difficult for a market to develop," Cai said.
China Mobile is eager to switch to 4G to compete with China Unicom's and China Telecom's 3G networks. But Orient Securities says if China Mobile delays the 4G launch until 2014, China Unicom may have enough time to build a customer base of 226 million 3G users, accounting for 33.6 percent of the 3G market and challenging China Mobile's market leadership.
"China Unicom and China Telecom's 3G networks use globally proven technologies, so they obviously want the transition from 3G to 4G to be longer," said Xu Ning, a partner at Hejun Consulting. "Not only could they compensate for network construction investment, but also extend their existing market advantages.
But after China Mobile launches 4G, Xu said, "China Unicom and China Telecom will adjust their strategies accordingly."
Unless China Mobile offers 4G with its TD-LTE standard before 2014, Xu said, the telecom may find itself running to catch up with China Unicom and China Telecom, which may start building their own 4G systems with standards developed by telecoms abroad.
ZTE today announced it has won China Mobile's TD- LTE contract. According to the contract, ZTE will construct China Mobile's TD-LTE networks in five Chinese cities, namely Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shenyang, with more than 13,000 carrier frequencies.
China Mobile launched the TD-LTE bidding in August 2012.
The tender included contracts for some 20,000 base stations and 52,000 carrier sectors, and the TD-LTE devices purchased by China Mobile will be deployed in an expanded trial TD-LTE network in 13 Chinese cities, namely Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Qingdao, Tianjin, Shenyang, Ningbo, Chengdu and Fuzhou.
Financial terms for the contract were not disclosed.