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TMCNet:  China Mobile to procure tri-mode 4G terminals in early 2014

[December 02, 2013]

China Mobile to procure tri-mode 4G terminals in early 2014

BEIJING, Dec 02, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- China's largest telecom operator China Mobile (CHL.NYSE; 00941.HK) will likely begin to procure 4G terminal products that support three telecom modes, GSM, TD-SCDMA and TD LTE, in early 2014, the telecom news portal reported on Tuesday.

An industry insider told the news portal that China Mobile will adjust its strategy by abandoning the mandatory requirement on its procurement of 4G terminals.

According to the requirement, China Mobile only procured 4G terminal products that support five telecom modes, TD-LTE, FDD-LTE, TD-SCDMA, WCDMA and GSM, in ten frequency bands in its integrated procurement for 4G terminals that was launched in the second quarter of this year.

The result of integrated procurement is controversial inside China's telecom industry, because most domestic chip makers are not able to meet the mandatory requirement, and about 80 percent orders were taken by the US-based Qualcomm. Therefore, industry insiders and experts suggest China Mobile procure low-end tri-mode terminals and open TD-LTE terminal market wider to domestic enterprises.

In the recent ITU Telecom World 2013 exhibition, China Mobile's president Li Yue said that 1,000-yuan-level TD-LTE terminals will become the mainstream on China's market. Analysts said that the statement indicates the telecom operator has made its decision on procuring tri-mode terminals.

There are more than 17 chip makers engaged in developing chips for LTE terminals, including China's Leadcore Technology Co., Ltd. and Spreadtrum Communications Inc. (SPRD.NASDAQ). But domestic enterprises have difficulties in competition with overseas counterparts in developing five-mode chips, due to lack of research and development experiences in WCDMA and FDD-LTE. (Edited by Li Xiaoyu,

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