Unicom to procure FD and TD-LTE infrastructure

24 Oct 2013

China Unicom, China’s second largest wireless provider by subscribers, has opened a tender for the supply of Long Term Evolution (LTE) infrastructure in preparation for the allocation of 4G licences later this year, Digi Times writes, citing local news portal Sina Tech. Unicom is looking to procure 34,000 Frequency Division (FD)-LTE base stations, 8,000 FD-LTE small cells and 10,000 Time Division (TD)-LTE base stations. China Unicom has long advocated the use the FD standard for its 4G network, and its adoption of the home grown TD platform as an auxiliary technology is likely due to pressure or encouragement from the regulator, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). MIIT has been keen to promote the use of the TD standard, and unconfirmed reports earlier this year suggested that the regulator would give preferential treatment to operators using the platform. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, CDMA provider China Telecom plans to use FD-LTE technology for the majority of its footprint, while TD-LTE will be deployed in cities and high-demand areas. To that end Telecom procured 50,000 FD-LTE base stations and 20,000 TD-LTE base stations earlier this year.