Posted by: China Media LAB on Jun 22, 2012
China will invest heavily to develop its own 4G technology which will go on trial in selected cities by the end of this year, industry officials said during Asia's major telecommunications expo yesterday.
China Mobile, the world's biggest telco, plans to make huge investment in building pilot 4G networks in 13 cities nationwide by the end of 2012.
The telco will build a total of 20,000 base stations that will run on the home-developed 4G technology known as TD-LTE in the cities, which include Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen, Xi Guohua, China Mobile's chairman, said at the event.
"We face great pressure on network capacity, and the network upgrade will reduce the pressure," Xi said, adding that total data consumption by its users has surged 150 percent annually on average.
More than 200 firms, including NTT DoCoMo, MasterCard and NEC, are attending the Mobile Asia Expo, which displays the latest telecom products and services such as mobile wallet and wireless medical devices.
China has identified the TD-LTE as a national strategic industry to develop and 4G is five to 10 times faster than the current 3G network. But Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice director of the National Development and Reform Commission, said the industry still needs more investment in chips and software.
The global mobile user base will grow to 9.1 billion by 2015 from about 6 billion now, and "significant investment" from mobile operators can be expected. Firms in Asia, where the majority of new users come from, may invest a total of US$793 billion, said Franco Bernabe, chairman and CEO of GSMA, a major global mobile communications industry alliance.
Held in Shanghai for the first time, the expo runs until tomorrow at the Shanghai New International Expo Center.