Feeds

China Mobile spaffs £4.4bn on 4G 'trial'... before it even has a licence

If we build it, the iPhone will come

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

China Mobile will build 200,000 LTE base stations, covering 500 million people and costing 41.7 billion yuan, despite the fact that 4G licences won't be awarded until the end of 2013.

The world's largest mobile operator is obviously confident it will get a 4G licence, though until it does the rollout is officially just a "trial". UK networks typically manage with around 18,000 sites, so as trials go, this is a big one, and one which will support the next iPhone whatever it takes.

China Mobile lost out in the 3G licences, and was forced to use the home-grown TD-SCDMA standard, which precludes support for handsets popular internationally, including Apple's iPhone. That's not stopped 15 million China Mobile customers sourcing their own Apple hardware and using it on the 2G network, making the lack of support all the more annoying for the operator.

China Mobile has repeatedly asked Apple for a TD-SCDMA variant, but Cupertino has always resisted the urge to fragment further - despite the lure of more than 700 million potential customers.

Reuters points out that only 13 per cent of those customers are on 3G, but whether that's because they're low-end customers (as Reuters suggests) or because of the lacklustre handset support, isn't clear.

Even the new network won't support existing iPhones, as it uses the Time Duplexed variant of LTE (TD-LTE) which sends and receives alternately over one channel rather than using separate frequencies, but TD-LTE is gaining ground internationally - so Apple support is almost certain.

But deploying 4G so rapidly, well before the licence is issued, is an admission that TD-SCDMA was a stupid idea, and that even China needs the economy of scale which international standardisation brings. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
PwC says US biz lagging in Internet of Things
Grass is greener in Asia, say the sensors
Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms
Study spots 9% growth in IoT m2m mobile data connections
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM
Networks' main issue: they don't know how it works, says expert
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.