China Mobile – the world’s largest mobile operator by subscribers – today unveiled a 44.7 percent increase in first-half net profit and appeared to confirm industry belief that it will deploy TD-SCDMA technology for its commercial nationwide 3G networks followed by a later move to LTE. The operator recorded H1 2008 net profit of RMB54.8 billion (US$8.01 billion) and a 17.9 percent rise in revenue to RMB196.46 billion (US$28.7 billion). Total subscribers and net additions reached 415 million and 45.25 million, respectively. In a statement, the company said it will “focus on innovations, this includes assisting the parent company in the construction of TD-SCDMA networks, in which current network resources will be fully utilised, and integrating the 2G network into the 3G in preparation for the full introduction of 3G operations. The company will also closely monitor the development of TD-LTE network technology to ensure momentum for future development.”

XFN-ASIA reports that China Mobile plans to expand trial coverage of its TD-SCDMA-based 3G services to 38 cities on the mainland, from the current 10, by the end of June next year. “China Mobile Group has shouldered great social responsibilities by taking up the tasks of developing the… home-grown TD-SCDMA 3G technology, providing basic mobile telecommunication services in rural areas, and taking over loss-making fixed-line operator China Tietong Communications,” chairman Wang Jianzhou told a press briefing today, reports XFN-ASIA. China Mobile is expected to receive a license for commercial 3G services based on local technology TD-SCDMA following the conclusion of the country’s industry restructuring, whilst China Unicom is tipped to receive a WCDMA 3G license, with China Telecom deploying CDMA2000 technology. Earlier this year China Mobile announced plans to trial ‘next-generation’ LTE technology in both Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) paired spectrum, and Time Division Duplex (TDD) unpaired spectrum. In a statement at the time, China Mobile pointed to its interest in trialling TD-LTE “as an evolution of current TD-SCDMA technology to enable the exploitation of unpaired spectrum globally” together with LTE-FDD.