China to launch 4G networks on 18 December

25 Nov 2013

Xinhua writes that China’s first 4G networks are expected to begin commercial operations on 18 December with China Mobile, the world’s largest cellco by subscribers, leading the charge with the launch of a new 4G brand ‘He’ – meaning ‘harmonious’ in Chinese. Beijing, Guangzhou and Chongqing will be the first cities to be covered by active Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) networks, although Shanghai is expected to follow soon after. Chinese telecoms regulator the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has allocated 4G spectrum to the nation’s trio of operators, and is expected to distribute operating licences shortly. Marbridge Daily writes that China Mobile was handed spectrum in the 1880MHz-1900MHz, 2320MHz-2370MHz and 2575MHz-2635MHz bands, whilst China Unicom was awarded frequencies at 2300MHz-2320MHz and 2555MHz-2575MHz and China Telecom received the following bands: 2370MHz-2390MHz and 2635MHz-2655MHz. Xie Feibo, head of MIIT’s State Radio Regulatory Commission (SRRC) added that the watchdog was considering using the 1400MHz and 3500MHz bands for TD-LTE.