China Mobile has applied for a concession for Frequency Division Duplex Long Term Evolution (FDD-LTE), although the company stressed that the system would be used in support of its Time Division (TD)-LTE network and to showcase the potential for integrating the two rival 4G platforms. C114 quotes China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua as saying that China Mobile is confident in TD-LTE technology, and that the recent allocation of FDD-LTE licences to rivals China Unicom and China Telecom will have little impact on the cellco, which garnered more than 100 million 4G users by the end of January 2015. The operator has applied to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) for an FDD licence in order to integrate the two technologies, so that FDD spectrum can be used if the TD spectrum becomes crowded. The chairman noted that as an added benefit to this approach, if the integration progamme goes smoothly ‘then other countries could use this technology more boldly.’
Commenting on the benefits of TD-LTE, the official noted that the platform has matured over the last year in terms of technological capabilities and industry chains. ‘Whether the technologies are good or not depends on the market, especially the maturity of the industry,’ Mr Guohua went on: ‘We planned to provide 200 types of 4G mobile phones by the end of last year but we provided 1,000, over 60% of which are CNY1,000 (USD162.5) level.’
Meanwhile, the chairman also explained that the operator’s focus this year would be to improve indoor coverage in rural and urban areas, and to reduce tariffs for 4G data and voice services.