A new report from analyst Ovum predicts that 25% of all LTE connections will include LTE TDD by 201. It suggests that LTE TDD has now gained wide ecosystem acceptance and backing from leading infrastructure and device vendors.
LTE TDD (Time Division Duplex) is China's home-grown 4G mobile telecommunications technology and standard, which it began developing in late 2007. LTE TDD offers asymmetric use of unpaired spectrum. It allocates separate channels for outward and return signals, emulating full-duplex transmission over a half-duplex communication link. It is an alternative to LTE FDD (Frequency Division Duplex), which requires paired spectrum.
Key companies involved in the development of LTE TDD are Datang Telecom, China Mobile, Huawei, ZTE, Nokia Siemens Networks, Alcatel Shanghai Bell, Qualcomm, ST-Ericsson and Leadcore.
In an upcoming report, LTE TDD Goes Mainstream: Mobile ecosystem puts support behind the standard, the independent telecom analyst firm states that LTE TDD has moved well beyond being a ‘Chinese-specific’ technology and has already been adopted by operators in Japan, the Middle East, and Europe.
‘The biggest market opportunities for LTE TDD will come from its deployment to support mobile broadband services,’ says Daryl Schoolar, a principal analyst in Ovum's Network Infrastructure practice. ‘Other opportunities will include its use as a fixed wireless broadband network and for small cell backhaul.’
Many mobile operators, such as Softbank (Japan), Optus (Australia), Hi3G (Sweden and Denmark), and STC (Saudi Arabia), have gone or are going the multimode LTE FDD/TDD route as part of their existing GSM and WCDMA/HSPA networks.
Schoolar commented: ‘Combining multiple standards, such as GSM and WCDMA/HSPA and LTE FDD and/or TDD, will grow the overall network capacity and increase quality of service. This is just a small part of it; the bigger opportunities lie in operators deploying it as their primary 4G network, such as Bharti Airtel in India and Mobily in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, LTE TDD provides cost benefits due to the price of unpaired spectrum, which can be passed on to end users.’
The infrastructure, device, and chipset communities widely support LTE TDD. The growth in production volumes and choices are continuously increasing. Huawei and a number of other vendors support multi-mode, multi-band devices, with market estimates placing total commercial devices at over 60.
‘As LTE TDD becomes more common with mobile operators, a vendor's 2G, 3G, and LTE FDD success is just as important as that vendor's early LTE TDD deployments. Thanks to multi-standard base stations, mobile operators will look to the same vendors that deployed their 2G/3G and LTE FDD networks to deploy their LTE TDD networks,’ concluded Schoolar.