As per media reports, People's Republic of China - the biggest
telecom market in the world by subscriber base, is expected to
issue fourth generation (4G) license before the end of this year.
A country wide 4G network will allow the Chinese people to get 5
times faster internet speed than 3G.
China has been lagging behind competing economic counterparts,
especially USA, Europe and Japan in LTE (Long Term Evolution)
deployment. USA has been the leader in LTE deployment, where
almost every operator is expanding their LTE network. Japan and
various developed countries in Europe are not lagging far behind,
where most of the operators have started rolling out LTE
This news comes on the back of a recent report from research
firm IHS iSuppli, which predicts that 4G LTE will propel the next
phase of growth in the Chinese telecom space. According to
iSuppli, 4G customer bases will surge from an expected 1 million
in 2013 to 439.9 million in 2017 with
China Mobile Limited
) boasting of the biggest share of 52%, followed by
) with 26% and
China Telecom Corp.
) with the remaining 22%.
The 3G technology in China hasn't received meaningful success
yet. Till Jan 2013 only 247.2 million of its total 1.12 billion
subscribers had 3G connections. Among the three carriers, China
Mobile has the lowest 3G connections in China. Its home grown
Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access
(TD-SCDMA) technology is partly responsible for the poor show,
which is not very well supported by the handset makers including
Chine Mobile, the world's largest carrier by subscriber base,
has already started to deploy TD (Time Division) LTE technology
and has already launched commercial LTE service on a trial basis
in two cities. The company expects to offer LTE coverage in 100
Chinese cities by the end of the year.
Within Asia pacific, South Korea has seen the greatest
acceptability of LTE services because it has been able to back
the latest technology with innovative smartphones that supports
LTE. At the end of 2012, South Korea's largest carrier S K
Telecom Co Ltd's total number of LTE subscribers exceeded 7
million, making up 26% of its total mobile subscriber base. The
company expects that 60% of its total customer base will have LTE
connections by the end of 2013.
We believe China's LTE success will depend on the country's
ability to develop smartphones that support the super fast
technology and the required investment in network
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