China Mobile Invites Suppliers for $4Bn 4G-LTE Network Gear

China Mobile 4G TenderAccording to a purchase announcement released on China Mobile’s website on 21 June, China Mobile had officially started its 4G-LTE base station bidding process, including 207k base stations and 550k carrier sectors. Bids must be submitted by 15 July, and results will be announced in August. We expect the bidding process will shed-light on the price for different types of base stations (upgrade vs. New and 1.9GHz vs. 2.6GHz). Given the tight schedule to finish the deployment within 2013, we also expect the majority of the deployment will be upgrades, which will mainly benefit local equipment suppliers.

The bidding amount could be as high as CNY25bn (~USD4bn), making it the largest telecom equipment bid in China this year.

A host of major telecom equipment vendors, including Huawei, ZTE, ALU, NSN, and Datang, to participate in this bid. Based on TD-LTE bidding results in 2012, ZTE won 23% share in the 20k nationwide TDD LTE trial deployment and 100% share in China Mobile’s TD-LTE deployment in Hong Kong. Comba will see benefit from selling antenna used in the base stations. CCS will provide construction services in building and upgrading the base stations.

China Telecom for Hybrid TD-LTE and FDD-LTE Deployment
Mr. Wang Xiaochu gave a speech in 2013 Tianyi Handset Fair & Mobile Internet Forum, stating the necessity to build a hybrid-LTE network in the 4G era. This is also the first public statement by China Telecom to accept a TDD-LTE license.

According to Mr. Wang Xiaochu, the operational model under the hybrid network is to use FDD-LTE for broad area coverage and use TDD-LTE to provide supplementary coverage in metropolitan areas where voice and data services are highly concentrated.