China’s number two operator China Unicom has received approval from regulator the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) to conduct trials of hybrid Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE)/Frequency Division (FD)-LTE networks in 16 cities. According to a press release from the cellco, the hybrid platform will be rolled out in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Xi’an, Changsha, Jinan, Hangzhou, Shenyang, Harbin, Fuzhou, Nanjing and Shijiazhuang. The statement follows hot on the heels of a similar announcement from China Telecom, which has been granted approval to test FD-LTE technology. Both operators have their eyes on the FD standard as their main technology for 4G and have been unable to compete effectively with market leader China Mobile, which has fully embraced the home-grown TD-LTE standard preferred by MIIT. TD-LTE licences were handed out in late 2013, and full FD-LTE concessions are not expected until early 2015.
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