China Mobile HK awards ZTE, Ericsson TD-LTE contracts; US/China TD-LTE roaming MoU signed

19 Jul 2012

China Mobile Hong Kong has awarded China’s ZTE and Sweden’s Ericsson contracts to expand the capacity and coverage of its 4G mobile network by deploying LTE-TDD (TD-LTE) technology to augment its existing FDD-based LTE platform. Having previously launched its commercial 2600MHz LTE-FDD network in April 2012, China Mobile HK will launch dual-mode TDD/FDD LTE services by the end of the year, when devices that support both modes will be available in larger volumes. It won 2300MHz band frequencies for additional LTE rollout using TDD technology in February 2012.

ZTE has been contracted to provide TD-LTE solutions including SDR base transceiver stations (BTS), terminals, network planning, integration and optimisation across the 4G network covering Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Also announced today, Ericsson – currently the sole supplier for China Mobile HK’s commercial LTE-FDD network – has been selected to expand the 4G network with TD-LTE radio access technology, whilst the Swedish firm will also upgrade the operator’s existing Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network. Ericsson will also provide network management, consulting and systems integration services.

ZTE told TelecomAsia that it has received a larger proportion of the TD-LTE rollout contract and will supply equipment for the network in primary commercial areas of the city, while Ericsson will deploy equipment in the remaining areas.

Meanwhile, US operator Clearwire has signed an agreement with China Mobile to provide for international TD-LTE roaming between China (including Hong Kong) and the United States. The two companies signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to ‘define and institute the processes necessary to support international roaming and to ensure their systems and devices are able to support roaming.’