China Mobile inks deal with Clearwire

15 Sep 2011

US wireless broadband operator Clearwire and Chinese telco China Mobile have signed an agreement to collaborate to accelerate the development of Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) devices. The two companies will work together to ‘cultivate a robust device ecosystem that supports multi-mode, multi-band devices with minimum component complexity and cost’. By cooperating, the two companies hope to rapidly increase the availability of TD-LTE-enabled devices and are working towards worldwide data roaming with a variety of network types.

In the company’s press release, China Mobile’s chairman, Jianzhou Wang, identified the availability and cost of TD-LTE devices as a potential stumbling block for operators considering deploying a TD-LTE network. By forging an alliance between players in two of the world’s largest markets, Clearwire and China Mobile will ‘leverage economies of scale…to speed up the development of TD-LTE devices.’ The chairman went on to predict that the collaboration would produce the widest variety and most cost-effective devices for end-users.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Clearwire serves 4.4 million customers worldwide, whilst China Mobile has 616.8 million mobile users, 35 million of which are data subscribers.