China may soon launch a domestically developed "fourth generation" mobile phone system in its commercial market, state media reported Friday, citing leading carrier China Mobile.
The homegrown candidate for the 4G standard, known as TD-LTE, is being tested in seven cities and will go into commercial use "when the technology is mature", the China Daily cited China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou as saying.
He did not provide any timetable.
China Mobile, the world's largest mobile phone operator with 589.3 million subscribers, has developed a Chinese 3G standard called TD-SCDMA. It has been working on a variation it hopes will become a 4G standard, which provides faster broadband wireless services.
The UN's International Telecommunications Union (ITU) accepted TD-LTE in October as a candidate to be designated 4G and is watching the tests by China Mobile and its partners to see if it meets 4G transmission standards.
China Mobile said late last year that a number of Chinese and foreign telecom equipment makers would participate in the tests of its 4G candidate, including China's ZTE Corp, Huawei Technologies, Finnish-German Nokia Siemens and Swedish group Ericsson.
Wang also told the newspaper that Japanese tech conglomerate Softbank is planning to deploy the first commercial TD-LTE network in Japan by the end of the year.
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