Mindspeed Technologies (News - Alert), Inc. has reached a joint development deal with China Mobile Communications to deploy cells using 3G Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (TD-SCDMA) and 4G (TD-LTE (News - Alert)) femtocells.

The agreement will put small cells from Mindspeed into the cities of Suzhou, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Nanjing on a trial basis prior to expanding its 4G services, which is likely to take some time as new spectrum allocations have yet to be determined.

TC-SCDMA is a government-run standard that China officials developed. China Mobile (News - Alert) has been touting its TD-LTE network that it claims can achieve speeds of up to 112 Mb/second.

Mindspeed will first look to increase both indoor and public access coverage using the 3G standard, and will focus on 4G development at a later time. Opponents argue that 3G is a dying technology and that only serves internal politics, while 4G is a faster, global standard that does not require paired spectrums.

Gu Yihong, the regional general manager of China Mobile, states that femtocell technologies in their 3G network have achieved commercial deployment.

“This joint development brings a significantly improved customer experience and further demonstrates that small cells will play important roles in wireless broadband services. The convergence of TD-SCDMA, TD-LTE, GSM and Wi-Fi is a fast evolving technology trend,” said Yihong in a statement.

Analyst Joe Madden of Mobile Experts, a company that provides market insight in mobile communications, says that by 2017 more than five million small cells will be deployed each year for 4G applications.

“More than 40 mobile operators around the world are watching China Mobile's initiative, and planning to take advantage of the economies of scale that come from early deployments in China,” Madden said.

Mindspeed's Transcede family of processors are complete NodeB and eNodeB Soc solution that support concurrent 3G and 4G processing in a singular device.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin