4G to be adopted within 3-5 years

11:17, March 11, 2011      

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A telecommunications exhibition in Beijing. Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, said on Thursday that it may take three to five years for China to issue 4G licenses. [Photo / China Daily]

China's top telecom regulator said on Thursday that the country plans to adopt the commercial use of fourth-generation (4G) technology "in three to five years", providing the first official timetable for China's move to the next generation telecom service.

Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, told China Daily at the ongoing National People's Congress meeting that "it will still take three to five years" before China will begin large-scale commercial use of the 4G service.

He denied that China will "soon" adopt the technology and stated that the country would not launch a national commercial 4G service until 2014.

4G, which can provide a connection speed more than 50 times faster than the current third generation (3G) network, is regarded as the next growth engine for the world telecom market, as it can draw huge investment in network construction and services development.

During the past few years, China has been actively trying to have its home-grown technology TD-LTE (Time Division-Long Term Evolution) technology accepted as the global 4G standard. However, most Western operators and equipment manufacturers are supporting a different technology called FDD-LTE (Frequency Division Duplex-Long Term Evolution).

"Miao's comment was in line with our earlier estimate that China will not adopt 4G technology soon," said Wang Yuquan, a senior consultant with the research firm Frost & Sullivan in China.

Wang said China's slowness in upgrading to 4G is because the TD-LTE technology is still not fully mature. "It is also obvious that the Chinese government doesn't want to adopt a 4G service too soon as that would disrupt the carriers' efforts to develop 3G services," he said.

Source: China Daily
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