LIVE FROM LTE ASIA 2014: Qiu Heng, Huawei’s VP of TDD networks, used his 15 minutes at LTE Asia to give the audience the ‘simple’ formula for building an excellent 4G network. He used China Mobile’s rapidly rolled out network as the example of what he calls “the best 4G deployment in the world”.
Step 1, install a huge number of base stations. For China Mobile, that’s 500,000 by the end of the year and another 400,000 next year.
Step 2, make it affordable. The ecosystem has supported this goal as prices of 4G handsets have dropped from $500 in 2012 to as low as $60 by the end of the year.
Step 3, give consumers a huge variety of choices. From just six TD-LTE smartphones on the market in 2012, 531 models are now available.
Finally, use all the available spectrum. Heng said operators need to think about both TDD and FDD technology to reduce site numbers.
He said excellent performance leads to rapid growth, which is certainly the case with China’s August numbers. It added 9.1 million 4G connections in this period, bringing its total to 30 million.
In terms of how rival operators can copy China Mobile’s success, Heng said others can easily replicate this example because the same technology ecosystem is now available. “The only thing you can’t copy is the base station numbers. No one can do that, nor wants to.”