In a regular series, Mobile World Live‘s Asia Editor Joseph Waring provides a regional roundup of news snippets:
Japan’s mobile network spending falls 19%
Japan’s mobile infrastructure market dropped 19 per cent to $4.1 billion last year as 3G investments stalled.
A severe drop in 3G investments drove a decline that LTE could not offset despite the addition of more than 100,000 base stations, said Stéphane Téral, research director for mobile infrastructure at Infonetics Research, now part of IHS.
KDDI and NTT Docomo increased LTE spending last year, but Softbank Mobile cut its total mobile spend by a quarter.
IHS expects the country’s mobile infrastructure market to fall to $2 billion in 2019, a CAGR of -13 per cent, before increasing again with the roll out of 5G.
Smartphone output in China slows in Q1
Smartphone shipments by China-based vendors dropped by almost 30 per cent to 91.8 million units in Q1 compared to Q4 due to weak demand at home and overseas, as well as lower production caused by the Chinese New Year holidays, according to Digitimes Research.
Vendors with a high ratio of export sales faced more than a 40 per cent decline in output sequentially, while those more focused on the domestic market saw shipments decline 20-25 per cent.
More operators plan FDD/TD-LTE networks
Mobile operators have deployed 18 converged FDD/TD-LTE networks, and Huawei expects that number to increase to 50 as operators look to make use of both FDD and TD frequencies to expand their network capacity.
High-frequency bands are suitable for operating TD-LTE and low frequencies for operating FDD. TD-LTE is generally more suitable for expanding capacity, while FDD-LTE is used for increasing spatial coverage, Huawei said.
China Mobile boosts capacity at stadium with TD-LTE small cells
China Mobile’s Shanghai branch and Nokia Networks said they were the first to deploy a TD-LTE-Advanced hetnet with carrier aggregation at an international sports event in Shanghai.
Nokia used its Flexi Zone TD-LTE small cells to expand China Mobile’s network capacity to manage the huge amount of data traffic generated by almost 50,000 users at the event, with more than half of the traffic carried by small cells. Nokia said its small cells complement its Flexi Multiradio 10 base stations, with each supporting 600 simultaneous active TD-LTE users per cell.