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China Mobile expands 4G trials to Zhejiang

By Shen Jingting (China Daily)

08:51, February 06, 2013

China Mobile's 4G experience center in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. People in Hangzhou and Wenzhou can apply for limited 4G services, such as MiFi, to go online on certain devices. [Photo/China Daily]

Hangzhou, Wenzhou get a taste of latest mobile network technology

China Mobile Ltd expanded commercial trials of its fourth-generation mobile network on Saturday to include Hangzhou and Wenzhou in Zhejiang province as it prepares for a full-scale 4G rollout across the country.

China Mobile will not be providing voice services during its 4G-network trial. That's because the TD-LTE network still needs further development, according to analysts. However, people in Hangzhou and Wenzhou can still apply for limited services, such as MiFi, to go online on certain devices.

According to a report from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association, 13 operators throughout the world had launched TD-LTE-based commercial services by 2012, making the technology one of the world's mainstream 4G telecommunication standards.

"China Mobile's goal in Hangzhou and Wenzhou is to test the stability of its 4G network," said Bryan Wang, vice-president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. Meanwhile, the commercial trial will allow China Mobile to collect customer feedback and gauge market response to the 4G service, Wang said.

China Mobile, the major promoter for the homegrown TD-LTE technology, is currently conducting large-scale 4G trials in 13 Chinese cities. The company said last year that it hoped to have a total of more than 200,000 TD-LTE base stations through new construction and upgrade by 2013.

Since the company has not received a license from the government to provide 4G services, China Mobile said the latest move in Zhejiang province was still a commercial trial of the homegrown TD-LTE technology.

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