“China has awarded 4G licences to China Mobile Ltd, China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd and China Telecom Corp Ltd in a widely expected move that will benefit industry players from telecom equipment makers to Apple Inc.,” Paul Carsten reports for Reuters. “The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has issued licences for the TD-LTE standard to the country’s three carriers, according to the ministry’s website on Wednesday. The announcement only mentions licenses for the TD-LTE standard, not the FDD-LTE standard which is more widely adopted globally. The licences will mostly benefit China Mobile, whose 4G network is heavily based on TD-LTE.”
“China Mobile, the country’s largest mobile carrier by subscribers, has trailed behind its smaller rivals in attracting users to its home-grown 3G standard due to its poorer network service. It also does not have a distribution deal for Apple’s iconic iPhone,” Carsten reports. “China Mobile’s 3G subscribers accounted for just 23 percent of its total subscribers as of the end of October, compared with 42 and 54 percent for China Unicom and China Telecom, respectively. China is only expected to license FDD-LTE networks – China Unicom and China Telecom’s favoured standard – sometime next year.”
Carsten reports, “Now that China Mobile has obtained a 4G licence based on TD-LTE, which is supported by Apple’s latest iPhone models, it paves the way for a deal between the two giants.”
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