Alcatel-Lucent scored a major win for its LightRadio platform as China Mobile selected the vendor to supply more than 20,000 TD-LTE base stations by the end of the year. Financial terms of the deal were not released.
The win follows years of network trials where China Mobile has been testing TD-LTE technology across portions of its network, with plans to deploy 207,000 base stations by year end as part of its “phase one” launch. Alcatel-Lucent said that its portion of the deal will account for 11% of that total.
Alcatel-Lucent had previously been tasked with providing a majority of the equipment for an earlier TD-LTE trial covering 13 markets in China. That move followed China Mobile’s announcement that it planned to deploy 20,000 TD-LTE base stations by the end of 2012 through a trial working with , Qualcomm and ST-Ericsson.
Domestically, Sprint is in the process of rolling out TD-LTE services across its network following the acquisition of Clearwire. That deployment is expected to include up to 38,000 cell sites using Clearwire’s 2.5 GHz spectrum. Clearwire and China Mobile have been working together on establishing a larger ecosystem for the TD-LTE standard.
Unlike the more traditional FDD version of the LTE standard currently being rolled out by carriers, the TDD version uses chunks of spectrum for uplink and downlink transmissions instead of separate spectrum bands. This is designed to help those carriers with large swaths of unpaired spectrum assets to deploy mobile broadband serviced based on a global standard.
China Mobile reported last week that it ended August with more than 750 million wireless customers, adding nearly 5.5 million for the month and more than 40 million new customers year-to-date.