4G to debut in Shanghai in June

China Mobile will start large-scale trials next month, inviting 5,000 users to test the latest 4G products including mobile phones and data cards based on TD-LTE technology.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

4G services will make their debut in Shanghai when China Mobile starts trials in June 2013 with 5,000 invited users.

This marks another milestone in the country's push toward LTE, which could see a public launch by August. It follows similar trials in February in Guangzhou and Shenzhen cities.


According to Xu Da, Shanghai Mobile's general manager, the city has built 1,000 base stations--700 outdoors and 300 indoors--to cover the Inner Ring region and will cover the while city by year-end, in a report on Friday by Shanghai Daily.

China had previously pushed back issuing 4G licenses till 2014, due to the lack of base stations and handsets running on its homegrown time division-long term evolution (TD-LTE) technology.

Handsets using TD-LTE are limited because the network system is used mainly in China. Compatible gear is currently made by Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell and Datang Mobile, said Shanghai Daily.

4G data cards and handsets will enable download speeds from 10 to 60 megabits per second, compared to about one megabit per second on current 3G network, according to China Mobile in the report.

It noted popular smartphones, like Apple's iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4, do not support TD-LTE. However, Samsung's models will support China's 4G technology later, said the news report. Apple is also reportedly in talks with China Mobile to enable its handset to run on its 4G network by 2014.

China Mobile has over 700 million mobile subscribers. It is also the only operator in China without a contract to carry Apple's iPhones due to its incompatible proprietary TD-SCDMA network for 3G. Rival telco China Unicom uses WCDMA, while China Telecom uses CDMA2000, both of which are more extensively deployed in Western countries.

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