China Telecom is on track to build what it says is the world’s largest LTE-FDD network, with 460,000 base stations giving it 95 per cent population coverage by the end of the year.
The country’s third largest mobile player, with 192 million connections, only received its nationwide FDD-LTE licence (along with rival China Unicom) at the end of February. Since then it has ramped up its network investments and started to leverage the national tower sharing company to push the rapid development of 4G services.
According to Q2 estimates by GSMA Intelligence, China Mobile has 188 million 4G connections, China Telecom has 26 million and China Unicom has 23 million.
China Telecom representative Shen Shaoai said its 4G network comprises three distinct layers, C114.net reported. For wide coverage in rural areas it uses the 850MHz band – and in the future 700MHz if it becomes available. It also plans to introduce voice-over-LTE and voice-over-WiFi technologies, she said.
To maximise its network capacity it is using the 1.8GHz, 2.1GHz and 800MHz bands, either separately, or for dual-band or tri-band carrier aggregation. Its hotspot offload strategy, Shen said, is to use its 2.6GHz TDD network, the aggregation of TDD and FDD networks, as well as the 3.5GHz high-frequency band in the future.