China Unicom launches 4G service trials

20 March 2014 | Sophie Donoghue


China Unicom has launched trials of 4G services in 25 cities in the country, as part of a country-wide project to increase its LTE footprint.

China’s third largest operator says it aims to expand its LTE coverage to 300 cities by the end of this year, while also offering 3G.

China Unicom said it will keep 3G as its primary focus, while 4G will remain a supplementary revenue source. The company had 126 million 3G customers at the end of January this year.

China awarded TD-LTE standard licences to China Mobile, China Unicom Hong Kong and China Telecom in December last year.

The more common FDD-LTE licences, which are used throughout the world, could also be rolled out in the country after China Telecom told local reporters it would apply for such a licence as soon as possible.

In February this year, China Mobile and French vendor Alcatel-Lucent announced their joint development of network functions virtualisation (NFV) for mobile operators.