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ZTE To Launch 4G Devices By August

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Chinese equipment maker ZTE is planning to launch 4G-enabled devices (LTE) by August of this year.

The company will first launch LTE-based dongles and then introduce phones by the first quarter of next fiscal year. The move is aimed at leveraging on potential demand for 4G services as operators start rolling out their LTE (long-term evolution) networks by this year-end.

Speaking to Business Line, Mr Isaac Liang, International Market Director – TDD Product, ZTE Corporation, said, “We already have single mode devices in the market. We are planning to launch multi- mode devices by third quarter which will allow subscribers to move between LTE and 3G networks.”

“We are looking to bring the price points of these LTE devices to the existing price of 3G devices,” he added.

Globally, a number of countries have launched LTE networks. But most of them are FDD (Frequency Division Duplex variant while in India it is going to be the Time Division Duplex (TDD) version. The difference is in the way spectrum is used. In FDD, spectrum is split into two with one half used for uplinking communication and the other half for downlink.

In TDD version, the spectrum is used as one chunk giving the operators the freedom to use it according to the traffic flow.

In India, a number of operators are planning to launch TDD-LTE including Airtel, Aircel, Reliance Infotel and Tikona.

Mr Liang said that network deals are expected by the year-end and ZTE is aiming at a 30 per cent share of the market. Currently, ZTE has not managed to make much inroads into the Indian telecom network market, dominated by Ericsson and Nokia Siemens. But Mr Liang said that since LTE is a new network, operators will not be compelled to stick to their current suppliers.

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