Unicom to begin TD-LTE trials amidst FDD licensing concerns

9 Aug 2013

China’s second largest cellco by subscribers, China Unicom is set to begin testing Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) network which it will use if the government does not allow it to use its favoured Frequency Division Duplex (FDD)-LTE technology when it allocates licences later this year, China Daily reports. Unicom’s chairman Chang Xiaobing announced that the cellco will soon begin testing TD-LTE in major cities, saying: ‘I expect Beijing to license TD-LTE first, so we have to prepare.’ The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is understood to be planning to allocate licences for the home-grown technology, advocated by Unicom’s larger rival China Mobile, whilst FDD licences may be made available at a later date. China Mobile has begun rolling out TD-LTE networks nationwide and to date has trial networks in 15 cities. The licensing of TD-LTE networks early would grant China Mobile a substantial advantage over its smaller rivals, by launching its own TD-LTE platform Unicom is hoping to even the odds somewhat.