Competition in China's fourth-generation telecommunications market is set to heat up after the regulator awarded LTE-FDD (long-term evolution frequency-division duplexing) trial permits to local carriers on Friday, industry sources said.
The long-awaited permits will help the nation's two smaller carriers to challenge
Permission for the trial run of FDD networks isn't equivalent to a license. The ministry said it will consider giving out FDD licenses in the future at the carriers' request.
China launched 4G services about six months ago but only allowed carriers to use TD-LTE technology, a domestic standard. The FDD technology is more accepted globally. Countries such as
"The new 4G standard will enable us to compete with the leaders and better serve our customers," said
Analysts believe the introduction of the new standard will alter the landscape of the country's young but fast-growing 4G market.
"The FDD permission came a little late for
Introducing a new standard will help both companies to "rapidly expand" 4G services as the carriers have already built several FDD base stations in some Chinese cities, according to Xiang. The TD-LTE based network will focus on high-end services after FDD enters the market, he predicted.
The company said two weeks ago it had signed up 6.5 million 4G users in the past six months.
Also on Friday,
This year, 120 million 4G-enabled smartphones are forecast to be shipped in
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