While less than 5% of China’s mobile users have upgrade their services to 3G, the Chinese operators are already pressing for 4G.
As expected, the most urgent one to do so is China Mobile. It has the worst 3G licence, TD-SCDMA. And this is causing it to loss market share. (In 2G, China Mobile has 70% of the users. In 3G it has about 30-40%.)
So the only solution for China Mobile to regain its dominance is to launch 4G as soon as possible. While the performance of TD-SCDMA is less the satisfactory, TD-LTE is surprisingly decent. And China Mobile better do so before its 2G users loss patience and switch to other operators for faster and better services.
According to local news, China Mobile will test its 4G standard TD-LTE in 6 cities in the first quarter. They include Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Xiamen (Here is an article about it: http://tech.sina.com.cn/t/3g/2011-01-04/01585055379.shtml) Each city will have more than 100 base stations involved. China Mobile will invest over RMB 1.5 billion for the testing project.
Another interesting point in the article is a comment made by a unnamed China Mobile senior executive. He/she said TD-LTE is “the future of China Mobile”. As of TD-SCDMA, it is “a mission given by the Chinese Community Party and Chinese State Council”. I totally agree with this exective.