Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) has confirmed earlier reports that China Mobile (CMCC) has awarded it an 11% share of its estimated £1.9bn 4G roll-out programme. The 4G network will cover 31 provinces with 207,000 TD-LTE base stations.
China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile operator by subscriber numbers. As of July 2013, China Mobile said it had 744 million subscribers – approximately 66-70% of the total market - of which 147 million were 3G users.
NSN’s share in the operator’s TD-LTE network roll-out highlights its position as a leading non-Chinese vendor in the highly competitive Chinese market. The company is awarded 11% market share consistent with other non-Chinese vendors – Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent.
However, NSN has also picked up another low single digit share as a result of selling its infrastructure through resellers also selected by CMCC. NSN secured an entry into six new provinces compared with its TD-SCDMA footprint in China.
The cooperation between the two companies extends over 20 years from CMCC’s first GSM network, over the development and implementation of CMCC’s TD-SCDMA 3G technology to the pre-commercial trial of the operator’s TD-LTE network. This has been a key driver in NSN’s commitment to invest in and steer the global success of TD-LTE.
“We are truly delighted to work with China Mobile on the world’s largest TD-LTE rollout”, said Markus Borchert, president of NSN Greater China. “Our strong LTE market momentum, 15 years’ pioneering of TD technology, proven network deployment capability and longstanding presence in China clearly contributed to the operator's decision. We have the right capabilities, commitment and scale for this huge project.”
Under the contract, NSN will deploy key radio network elements for China Mobile’s 1.9GHz, 2.6GHz and 2.3GHz frequency bands, including its Flexi Multiradio 10 base stations. The solution will cover new single-mode implementation of the TD-LTE network.
In addition, NSN will deploy part of the network in TD-SCDMA/TD-LTE dual mode, supporting TD-SCDMA site software upgrade to the dual mode implementation. NSN is the only non-Chinese vendor to support TD-SCDMA evolution to TD-LTE. The contract also covers network implementation, planning and optimisation and care services.
NSN said it has made a long-term commitment through significant financial and R&D investment across both Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and Time Division Duplex (TDD) mode of operations.
See also: China Mobile appoints contractors for £1.9bn 4G infrastructure roll out