China Mobile to launch LTE-FDD/TDD network in Hong Kong
China Mobile has signed deals with equipment providers Ericsson and ZTE to build its converged LTE-FDD/TDD network in Hong Kong. The operator has signed contracts with both vendors for the project after acquiring spectrum in the 2330MHz-2360MHz band. The network will cover Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon region, and the converged network is due to be launched in the fourth quarter of the year.
The operator already launched its LTE-FDD network in Hong Kong in April 2012 with Ericsson as the sole supplier. The Swedish vendor will now deliver the TD-LTE radio access network and network management using its operation support system for radio and core (OSS-RC) for the converged network. In addition, Ericsson will also provide evolved packet core network expansion and upgrade, consulting and systems integration services as well related design, training and support services.
ZTE will also provide its LTE-TDD solutions to the operator, including software-defined radio base stations, terminals, network planning, integration and network optimisation.
The firm signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with US operator Clearwire as well, with the two planning to collaborate to support international roaming for their customers travelling between China and the US. The MoU also serves as a blueprint for future roaming agreements with other members of the Global TD-LTE initiative (GTI) of which China Mobile and Clearwire are founding members. The GTI has 48 members including operators Sprint, Vodafone and Mobily.
By launching LTE services in Hong Kong, China Mobile joins CSL, a unit of Australia’s Telstra, which has already launched its 4G services in the market. China Mobile is also currently conducting tests aimed at launching LTE services in two years in mainland China.