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.