China Mobile’s rapid move to 4G over the past two years almost single-handedly boosted the worldwide TD-LTE user base to 260 million at the end of June.

TD-LTE subscribers (using unpaired LTE spectrum, as opposed to the more commonly deployed LTE-FDD paired 4G version) accounted for 34.4 per cent of global LTE connections in Q2, with 59 mobile operators in 35 countries operating commercial TD-LTE networks, according to DigiTimes Research.

But 87 per cent of TD-LTE users were in China. China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator with 824 million connections, had nearly 190 million TD-LTE connections in Q2. That number increased to 267 million in October.

The number of TD-LTE base stations worldwide was estimated at 1.25 million, representing 47 per cent of total LTE sites, the research firm said. China Mobile said it aims to have one million TD-LTE base stations by the end of the year.

DigiTimes Research said vendors have launched 1,210 models of TD-LTE devices, with smartphones accounting for 58 per cent of the total.