China Mobile bumps 4G tender

10 May 2013

China Mobile, the world’s largest cellco by subscribers, has pushed back a multi-billion dollar tender for 4G network equipment, Light Reading Asia reports. The tender for the equipment for the operator’s planned rollout of Time Division Duplex Long Term Evolution (TDD-LTE) technology was originally planned for April, but has now been delayed until June whilst the operator decides whether to build the network from scratch or upgrade its existing 3G TD-SCDMA base stations. China Mobile is looking to source equipment for some 200,000 base stations in 100 cities through the tender, worth an estimated CNY40 billion (USD6.467 billion). A decision to upgrade the existing network would reportedly favour China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA suppliers such as Huawei and ZTE, although a new build would place the likes of Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) on a level pegging with domestic vendors. Developing its current network assets would entail using F-Band spectrum (1880MHz-1920MHz) for 4G, whilst a completely new network would utilise frequencies in the D-Band (2570MHz-2620MHz). Light Reading quotes VP of Ericsson China Eric Feng, as saying that the cellco’s trial TD-LTE networks, which use the F-Band, have suffered from interference and limited network functionality.