Tuesday, February 23, 2016

#MWC16: China Mobile Outlines Network Roadmap

At Mobile World Congress, China Mobile provided an update on its current 4G rollout and outlined next steps as it contemplates the transition to 5G.

As of the end of 2015, China Mobile had:

  • deployed 1.10 million TD-LTE base stations covering a population footprint of over 1.2 billion
  • established 4G roaming with 114 countries and regions
  • sold 300 million TD-LTE devices in 2015 - this represents the addition of more than 400 TD-LTE users every minute
  • 4G subscriber base reached 340 million, accounting for about 30% of global number
  • completed the deployment of carrier aggregation (CA) in over 300 cities and has commercialized VoLTE services in 100 cities. 

For 2016, China Mobile will speed up its 4G deployment. Plans call for:

  • increasing the number of TD-LTE base stations to 1.40 million
  • deploying CA technologies in central and hot-spot areas of all cities by the end of 2016
  • commercializing VoLTE services in over 260 cities in the first half of 2016
  • launching Rich Communication Service (RCS) in the second half of the year
  • accelerating the uptake of VoLTE/CA-enabled devices by selling 330 million 4G devices and 
  • expanding the 4G user base to over 500 million in 2016.     

China Mobile also confirmed plans for dedicated networks for the Internet of Things. It aims to develop 100 million IoT connections in 2016.

In addition,China Mobile, together with the representatives of the first 11 partners, jointly launched the China Mobile 5G Joint Innovation Center, which will collaboratively develop applications and products in such areas as basic communications, IoT, telematics, industrial Internet, cloud robotics and virtual/augmented reality. Early partners include Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, Datang, Intel, Keysight, Beijing Shougang Automation Information Technology Co., Ltd., Haier, and Hisense.

China Mobile also introduced cost-effective VoLTE/CA devices and chip solutions during the summit, including its self-branded VoLTE/CA devices. Together with Samsung, China Mobile introduced 5 new customized VoLTE devices; in partnership with Qualcomm and MTK, China Mobile launched VoLTE+ down-link and up-link CA chip solutions at the price point of $100; jointly with Spreadtrum and Leadcore, China Mobile released VoLTE chip solutions at the price point of $50.