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China aiming to issue 4G licences by year’s end

The government of China is reportedly fast-tracking the 4G spectrum licensing process to make sure that it is complete by the end of the year.

The State Council met to discuss its revised goals of speeding up 4G licence distribution as well as broadband access development, under the supervision of Premier Li Keqiang. 3G services were also targeted for upgrades, with the government aiming to expand coverage and improve quality of service.

Currently market leader China Mobile is constructing trial networks using the TD-LTE standard and has tendered for manufacturers to build out its full network – a significant undertaking that would require 207,000 base stations across 31 provinces.

Meanwhile, rival operators China Telecom and China Unicom have not yet unveiled their plans. They could adopt the FDD LTE standard or build networks which combine the two. The key difference between the TDD and FDD standards is that they are based on unpaired and paired spectrum respectively.

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