China Mobile Hong Kong has selected Ericsson to expand its commercial LTE network with TD-LTE (LTE TDD) in Hong Kong. Ericsson is already the sole supplier for China Mobile Hong Kong's LTE FDD network. China Mobile Hong Kong is a subsidiary of the world's largest mobile operator China Mobile.
Together the companies will build a converged LTE FDD/TDD network. Ericsson will also upgrade the operator's existing Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network.
China Mobile Hong Kong launched LTE FDD mobile data services in April this year. Now it plans to launch a TD-LTE network according to 3GPP standards, complementing its existing LTE FDD network. The converged LTE FDD/TDD network will be launched as early as the fourth quarter of 2012, when devices that support both modes become available in larger volumes.
TDD (time division duplex) LTE uses unpaired spectrum for both the uplink and the downlink, while FDD (frequency division duplex) uses paired spectrum with the uplink and downlink separated into two channels. By combining both types of LTE standard China Mobile Hong Kong can maximise the efficient use of its spectrum holdings.
Mobile chip manufacturers such as Qualcomm are working on dual mode LTE chips, so that users can roam seamlessly between both kinds of LTE. This will not necessarily mean users can roam anywhere in the world, because a greater hindrance to roaming is the fragmentation of LTE bands. LTE spectrum bands in use range from 700MHz up to 2.6GHz and mobile devices are currently unable to accommodate that range of spectrum.
‘We chose Ericsson, a global leader in the LTE space, as our TD-LTE network partner,’ said Sean Lee, Director and CEO of China Mobile Hong Kong. ‘By partnering with Ericsson and maximizing our spectrum asset, we will build a converged LTE FDD/TDD network that gives our customers an even better 4G experience.’
‘This contract marks another significant milestone for Ericsson and further consolidates our network leadership in the region,’ said Mats H Olsson, President of Ericsson China & North East Asia. ‘With our continued innovation in technology, services and design, we are committed to further enhance China Mobile's mobile services in Hong Kong and extend our long-standing relationship with the operator.’
Under the agreement, Ericsson will deliver the TD-LTE radio access network, network management using Ericsson OSS-RC, Evolved Packet Core network expansion and upgrade, consulting and systems integration services as well related design, training and support services.
Ericsson has now signed 67 LTE/EPC contracts in 30 countries on five continents.