HONG KONG Nov 15 China Mobile
expects to finish the second-phase of its fourth-generation (4G)
network trials by June, a senior company executive said on
Tuesday, as the world's largest mobile carrier tries to boost
its data services to attract high-end users.
China Mobile has built more than 850 base stations in six
major cities in China and has made "remarkable progress" in its
tests of the new-generation network technology based on TD-LTE
platform, Li Zhengmao, an executive vice president, said at an
event in Hong Kong.
"With the growing popularity of mobile Internet and smart
devices, data consumption is increasing at an explosive speed,
which has brought huge pressure to global mobile networks."
"Under such a situation, the need to speed up the
commercialisation of LTE is more compelling."
China Mobile, the country's biggest mobile carrier with
633.5 million subscribers -- more than the entire population of
North America -- has been losing out to smaller rivals China
Unicom and China Telecom in attracting
higher-end 3G users.
China Unicom is the only official iPhone seller among the
three Chinese carriers. China Mobile has 10 million iPhone users
even though it does not have an agreement with Apple,
but iPhone subscribers using the carrier do not have access to
3G download speeds.
Apple has been reluctant to strike a deal with China Mobile
due to its inferior homegrown 3G technology called TD-SCDMA.
Apple has promised to make an iPhone compatible with China
Mobile's TD-LTE standard when its next-generation model comes
out, the Chinese firm's Chairman Wang Jianzhou told Reuters last
Li said seven telecom equipment makers and three chip makers
participated in the first phase of the 4G trial. The
Beijing-based carrier has begun purchasing TD-LTE devices, he
China Mobile and U.S. 4G operator Clearwire Corp
have teamed up to develop high-speed mobile devices and
infrastructure. Under their agreement China Mobile will work on
chipsets and devices for TD-LTE that both companies are planning