Huawei, Intel to work on mainland 4G technology
Huawei Technologies, the world's second-largest supplier of telecommunications equipment, and semiconductor giant Intel have joined forces to speed up adoption of 4G mobile networks using a mainland-backed standard.
The two companies yesterday said they had agreed to establish, for an undisclosed amount, a joint laboratory on the mainland that would conduct interoperability testing on TDD-LTE (time-division duplexing long-term evolution) technology, the high-speed 4G mobile standard championed by Beijing.
The other commercially deployed 4G standard is known as frequency division duplexing (FDD-LTE). Advanced 4G networks have theoretical internet download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second. The fastest existing 3G networks run at 42Mbps.
Shenzhen-based Huawei had supplied either FDD-LTE or TDD-LTE network equipment and software to 23 of the 49 commercial 4G networks deployed globally as of last year.
The mainland firm was also contracted by Genius Brand, a joint venture of Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong and PCCW's HKT, to implement a new 4G network in the city. The two carriers have separately announced plans to launch their local 4G services this year.
Deng Taihua, the president of Huawei's TDD-LTE business unit, said the company was focused on expanding adoption of TDD-LTE 4G networks worldwide. The partnership with Intel would help 'accelerate the development of our technology and provide our customers with leading TDD-LTE solutions'.
An Intel spokesman said the company's mobile chip platforms would have extensive tests on Huawei's TDD-LTE infrastructure, to expedite its global support for the mainland 4G standard.
Intel and other mobile-chip suppliers are helping infrastructure-gear makers like Huawei develop wireless systems that support easy LTE upgrades, while ensuring they can work with older 3G and 2G technologies.
Global capital spending on 4G LTE networks is forecast to reach US$24.3 billion next year from US$8.7 billion this year, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli.
Total wireless infrastructure spending on the mainland by China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom is expected to hit US$11.2 billion by 2014, boosted by new 4G mobile investments.
That is up from an estimated US$10 billion in spending next year and US$9.9 billion this year.
The top download speed, in megabits per second, of the fastest 3G network. This figure rises to 100 for 4G systems