China Unicom will build and test 4G technology in Shanghai, but it is not yet licensed for FD-LTE 4G services, said the second mobile operator in the country yesterday.
After 2 weeks of silence following the long-awaited issue of 4G mobile licenses, China Unicom is finally making some hints about its strategy in the new era of high-speed telecommunications.
The latest signals over the summer had the company saying it would build two 4G networks, one based on the homegrown Chinese standard called TD-LTE, and another based on a more globally mature standard called FDD-LTE.
Since China was expected to make its first batch of 4G license awards for networks based on TD-LTE technology, with FDD-LTE licenses expected to follow around the middle of next year, Unicom has took the dual approach.
From a tests conducted by the company with a Samsung Galaxy S4 that accepts FD-LTE, 4G network provides download speeds of 150 megabytes per second, from 10 to 20 times faster than the 3G network.
For technical and commercial reasons, it is more practical and profitable for China Unicom to adopt 4G FD-LTE.
Last week, Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said it expects revenue from its 4G mobile network business to double to $4 billion in 2014 compared with this year.
Investment in China’s 4G mobile phone network could reach 100 billion yuan ($16.5 billion) next year with the number of users topping 30 million in more than 300 cities, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing the minister of Industry and Information Technology as saying on Friday.
Photo Credit: Cliffano Subagio