The LTE TDD/FDD International Summit 2014, hosted by Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI), was held in Barcelona, Spain on February 25th at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014. This summit convened more than 500 executive-level delegates from China Mobile, Bharti, SoftBank, Vodafone and other globally leading operators, vendors, service providers, media and consulting companies. With ongoing development over the past three years, now GTI has 73 partners and 100 operator members. Under the promotion of GTI, 28 commercial TD-LTE networks have been launched around the world and more than 40 operator members are planning and constructing their commercial TD-LTE networks. Especially, China Mobile rolled out its commercial TD-LTE service in China in last December, showing GTI operators’ strong confidence in promoting the global deployment of TD-LTE.
Mr. Shang Bing, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of China, gave a speech at the summit. According to him, information industry is one of the most dynamic fields for the technology transformation and application innovation in the country. Mobile Internet has become a hotspot in the industry. In 2013, the sales of smart phones in China accounted for over 70% of the total; the growth of mobile Internet traffic hit 70% and the contribution rate of mobile Internet for industrial growth exceeded 70%. These breakthroughs demonstrate increasing demand for information consumption in China market and will inevitably bring new opportunities and growth areas for the development of 4G industry. Mr. Shang expected that GTI will further promote the industry chain of TD-LTE, drive the entire industry to a higher level, accelerate the maturity of key products such as terminals and chips, and advance the progress in VoLTE tests. GTI was also expected to optimize technological schemes for the convergence of TD-LTE and LTE FDD and global roaming, to promote large-scale commercialization of TD-LTE around the globe. Besides, Mr. Shang pointed out that Chinese government will provide great support to the development and commercialization of TD-LTE, advocate widespread international cooperation with the principle of openness, and create favorable market environment for the development of new-generation mobile telecommunications industry players, with a hope to promote great-leap-forward development of global mobile telecommunications industry.
Mr. Li Yue, President of China Mobile, addressed a keynote speech on the theme of “4G – A New Epoch of Mobile Internet”. According to him, A new epoch of mobile Internet featuring smart terminals, mobile broadband and cloud computing has come. Network, terminals and services will be the key to drive fast development of 4G.
As Mr. Li introduced, China Mobile will provide ubiquitous high-speed experience for users by constructing high-quality, widely-covered 4G network. China Mobile has seen rapid growth of 4G subscribers with huge demand for mobile broadband service since its official launch of 4G service at the end of last year. China Mobile will construct more faster, efficient and converged network with enhanced performance, promote the evolution to LTE-A and increase the data rate from 100M to 200M, 400M or even 1G. The company is performing VoLTE network tests and plans to initiate scale-up tests in the second half of this year and commercialize VoLTE by the end of this year. In addition, China Mobile will accelerate the converged networking of FDD/TDD to provide global universal network solution with high efficiency. As China Mobile planned, 500,000 base stations will be constructed across 340 cities in China by the end of this year to expand the coverage of its 4G network. Recently, China Mobile joined forces with South Korea’s KT to launch two-way global roaming service allowing interoperability between TD-LTE and FDD-LTE. In the future, China Mobile will partner with more international operators to provide 4G global roaming services.
In terms of 4G terminals, China Mobile will focus on the development of global, large-scale low-cost 4G terminals to attract more 4G subscribers. China Mobile plans to purchase more than 100 million LTE terminals and promote the maturity of 5-mode 12-band or higher level of terminals to motivate the progress in multi-mode multi-band terminals with global roaming capability. At present, GTI has launched 5-mode 13-band terminals in collaboration with its industry partners. These terminals support the vast majority of networks, making the ideal of “global communications with just one mobile phone in hand” come true. China Mobile will also roll out more models of 5-mode 10-band terminals priced at 100-150 US dollars to lower the cost of 4G terminals. Besides, China Mobile has tied up with Orange to design, develop and sell a model of TDD/FDD converged smart phone supporting most of global communications standards and frequency bands and available for NFC. This product will be launched in China and Europe as well as Africa and the Middle East markets of Orange.
In the field of service, China Mobile will build Rich Communication Services (RCS) as its core competitiveness in the era of mobile Internet. Mr. Li released China Mobile’s Next Generation Converged Communication Whitepaper at this summit. As he introduced, China Mobile will provide Rich Communication Services including enhanced calling, instant messaging, live video, LBS and file sharing across devices by integrating the communication capability of terminals and upgrading the Internet service. New calling, messaging and contacting are three major highlights of China Mobile’s RCS. New voice experience will be created based on VoLTE, such as HD voice/video calling, sharing during the call, one click for multi-party call; new messaging service will enable multiple formats of messaging and group messaging with an integrated interface. It will be compatible with traditional SMS/MMS and covers public information service; new contacting service allows more flexible contact management covering grouping, personal card, network address, etc. China Mobile’s RCS is an evolution of traditional communications services in a native manner. It enables users to enjoy enriched communication services such as video calling, multi-media messaging, group chatting, and multi-media information sharing during the video call without additional download. In addition, it is aligned to international standards and operator-specific features including registration with real name, information security, reliable quality, interoperability and universality. According to Mr. Li, China Mobile will initiate end-to-end system tests for RCS recently and RCS-enabled network tests in the second half of this year. Besides, China Mobile will make great effort to provide pilot RCS in Q4 2014 and achieve complete commercialization of RCS in the second half of 2015.
Mr. Li also pointed out that, in the coming 4G era, China Mobile is willing to cooperate with more international organizations, operators and industry partners based on the principle of openness, with an aim to open a new epoch of mobile Internet by promoting the convergence of TDD/FDD and popularity of multi-mode multi-band terminals, realizing LTE global roaming and enhancing the maturity and large-scale commercialization of VoLTE and RCS.