MWC 2013: TD-LTE group touts successful global roaming trials

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Attempts to further global roaming abilities of the TD-LTE standard reportedly are progressing as the Global TD-LTE Initiative claimed that new testing had begun between operators in China, Hong Kong, the United States, Japan, Korea and India. The carriers involved include China Mobile, Clearwire, Softbank, Korea Telecom and Bharti Airtel.

The GTI noted that China Mobile recently completed a trial with its subsidiary in Hong Kong and KT in Korea and with Clearwire in Hong Kong and in China. Those trials were based on China Mobile’s IPX network and were to establish global roaming configurations angling towards a unified TD-LTE, LTE-FDD model. TD-LTE uses a single swath of spectrum to transmit both uplink and downlink signals, while LTE-FDD uses separate channels to transmit signals.

China Mobile and KT conducted roaming trials between China Mobile’s 2.3 GHz and 2.6 GHz TD-LTE bands, also known as Band 40/38, and KT’s 1.7/1.8 GHz FDD-LTE bands, also known as Band 3. Bharti is expected to show roaming capabilities between its Band 40 TD-LTE service and China Mobile’s Band 40/38 TD-LTE service.

Clearwire, which is in the process of being acquired by Sprint Nextel and in turn Softbank, has been involved in the initiative for several years as it looks to establish a greater ecosystem for its planned TD-LTE network launch this year using its 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings, or in TD-LTE parlance what is known as Band 41. The carrier last year garnered chipset support for that band from Qualcomm.

Additional results from the trial are set to be discussed at a press conference at this week’s Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.

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Dan Meyer

Editor-in-Chief, Telecom Software, Policy, Wireless Carriers
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Dan Meyer started at RCR Wireless News in 1999 covering wireless carriers and wireless technologies. As editor-in-chief, Dan oversees editorial direction, reports on news from the wireless industry, including telecom software, policy and wireless carriers, and provides opinion stories on topics of concern to the market such as his popular Friday column “Worst of the Week.”

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