Feeds

TDD LTE gaining momentum in 4G push, says ZTE

Some carriers could move from FDD

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

The Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) flavour of LTE will face increasing competition in favour of Time Division Duplexing (TDD), according to Chinese telecoms infrastructure giant ZTE.

Far more operators currently have FDD networks either in operation or trialing than TDD, as can be seen on this handy interactive map.

FDD's benefits are that it handles interference well and fits more neatly with the way many legacy networks were architected, ZTE’s VP of Wireless Sean Cai. That's all well and good, but TDD is more cost effective and efficient in the way it handles traffic, he says.

"TDD is gaining momentum," Cai told The Reg on a visi to HK this week. "TDD is becoming the trend."

“It’s not all about the technology but also the politics and regulations of individual countries.”

FDD LTE has been the natural choice for many operators in Europe and beyond who previously ran FDD 2G and 3G networks. However, by requiring paired spectrum the standard has been criticised for being inefficient, with downlinks becoming swamped while uplinks are wasted, Cai explained.

TDD transmits the up- and downlink traffic in the same unpaired frequency band, maximising available bandwidth, and incurs lower power costs. Another trump card is that an FDD set-up can be converted to TDD but not the other way around, said Cai.

"We're not able to predict when and how [some companies redeploy fdd spectrum to tdd] but we know it's going to be a long time," said Cai, stressing political and regulatory issues play a big role in operator strategy.

However, it could be 10 or 20 years before the LTE standards shake out and in the meantime ZTE has been promoting their co-existence in base stations by building the first dual-mode LTE network in the world for operator 3 in Sweden.

Cai was less willing to predict the end of the 3G TD-SCDMA which, despite technically being an international standard, is virtually unheard of outside of China.

The standard has caused China Mobile some headaches – Apple has never released an iPhone which supports it, for one – yet Cai feels the firm will have the edge when it comes to upgrading to TD-LTE as the process requires very little work.

In this context, far from backing the Betamax of 3G standards, China Mobile – the largest operator in the world with over 700 million subscribers – may have played a canny long game.

Cai was speaking ahead of Mobile World Congress, which opens later this month, when he said ZTE would be making some announcements on Radio Access Network technology. The firm has apparently worked hard in this area, with the goal of making the network more efficient by ensuring it can adapt dynamically to user behaviour.

Spectrum sharing, carrier aggregation, small cells and white space technology will also become vital in the coming years to coping with the flood of data and diminishing bandwidth, argued Cai. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.