Manufacturing partnership to aid LTE in China

Broadband provider Clearwire and mobile operator China Mobile have entered into a partnership which will focus on developing TD-LTE devices. In an official statement, the firms announced that they had “agreed to work together to cultivate a robust device ecosystem that supports multi-mode, multi-band devices with minimum component complexity and cost.”

China Mobile chairman Jianzhou Wang commented: “the availability and cost of TD-LTE devices are critical success factors for operators to deploy TD-LTE networks. The cooperation with Clearwire will leverage economies of scale in the two largest markets in the world to speed up the development of TD-LTE devices.”

The firms are aiming to bring TD-LTE products – including high-volume chipsets and devices – to markets in 2012. Both companies hold spectrum in the 2.5GHz frequency band, and plan on supporting data roaming across both LTE standards (TDD & FDD) as well as existing 2G and 3G spectrum.

China Mobile’s TD-LTE trials have thus far used equipment from several different vendors, including Ericsson, NSN and Alcatel-Lucent. Once it has obtained sufficient funding, Clearwire will begin building out LTE infrastructure in addition to its currently deployed networks.

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