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Chinese official: We're not issuing 4G licenses for another two to three years

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China isn't in a huge hurry get its own 4G network up and running, instead wanting to ensure the infrastructure is primed and enough compatible handsets are available before it launches. According to the head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Miao Wei, the country needs plenty more base stations -- beyond the existing 220,000 TD-SCDMA bases and closer to 400,000 -- before the government starts offering 4G licenses. China Mobile, the country's largest mobile network, already plans to have over 20,000 TD-LTE base stations in operation by the end of this year, stepping up to 200,000 by the end of next year. This particular type of LTE hasn't quite set the world on fire just yet -- only two operators have launched TD-LTE services and a genuine handset for the network remains absent. Upgrading existing 3G stations is likely to take around three years, according to the official. At least it gives ZTE more time to get the MT73 readied for ICS -- or perhaps Android 5.0.

[Photo credit: China.com.cn]

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