For a country with a vibrant history of shunning global standards in favor of homegrown, royalty-free ones, this is a pretty huge reversal of strategy -- and possibly an implicit admission that rolling your own wireless broadband specification is just more trouble than it's worth. Even before China's 3G TD-SCDMA
network is deployed on a wide scale, China Mobile has hooked up with Vodafone and child Verizon Wireless to trial LTE
on its home turf to help figure out what type of spectrum utilization yields the fastest and most efficient coverage. As China Mobile itself points out, the hookup could ultimately lead to an extraordinarily large -- dare we say, global
4G network that leads to a huge win for customers of the trio. It'll be a few years yet before any of us can reap cold, hard benefits, but it's a start.