An invited audience of operators, equipment vendors and government officials heard today at a seminar organized jointly by The TD-SCDMA Forum and The UMTS Forum that complementary deployment of W-CDMA and TD-SCDMA technologies can provide cost-effective, wide area coverage for Chinese mobile operators to deploy high capacity, low cost voice and data services across the region.
Speaking at the China Mobile Broadband Communications Leadership Seminar, the Chairman of the UMTS Forum emphasized the benefits to China's economy by aligning its 3G strategy with other world regions where UMTS is already a market success.
"With fast approaching 100 million customers worldwide, W-CDMA is a mature, proven technology", said Jean-Pierre Bienaim. "Chinese vendors who have already invested significantly in the global success of W-CDMA stand to benefit enormously from timely local deployment. Similarly, operators in the region can benefit from the immense success of W-CDMA to date and maximise their share of the fast growing 3G/UMTS market worldwide."
The UMTS Forum chairman noted that with introduction of W-CDMA, Chinese operators stand to earn significant data roaming revenues from other 3G/UMTS subscribers visiting the country. Implementation of the technology will also generate IPR export opportunities for services and applications from China's development community.
The UMTS Forum Chairman urged China's national administration to issue 3G licenses at the earliest opportunity: "Issuing licenses no later than the first quarter of next year would enable operators to plan a phased deployment of 3G in time for 2008's Olympic Games", said Bienaim. "As has already been demonstrated at high-profile sporting events like this year's football World Cup finals, there's no more powerful advertisement for the capabilities of 3G/UMTS to consumers."
"Without 3G licenses, Chinese operators will have to commit further investments to 2G and PHS technologies where there's less opportunity for future returns", added Bienaim. "It's vital that the Chinese nation does not fall behind other mobile markets and risk compromising its ability to capitalise on the global success of W-CDMA."
Bienaim also emphasized the complementary roles of W-CDMA and China's 'home-grown' TD-SCDMA technology that is approved by the ITU and fully standardised as an IMT 2000 system within the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
TD-SCDMA allows mobile operators to use unpaired TDD spectrum for the efficient delivery of asymmetric high-speed data services such as mobile Internet. This provides a valuable complement to W-CDMA that is optimised for the cost-efficient delivery of voice and data services with wide area coverage using paired (FDD) spectrum.
Dr. Jing Wang, Secretary General of the TD-SCDMA Forum, said: "the speed of TD-SCDMA development has been with unprecedented speed, and now it is at the final preparatory stage prior to commercial deployment. Experiences and lessons from UMTS will further shorten the learning curve of TD-SCDMA, enabling both technologies to address the Chinese market demand simultaneously with respective advantages after licenses are granted. As both TD-SCDMA and UMTS will evolve to LTE (Long Term Evolution) platform, the key technologies in both standards will converge."
"Data spending is increasing, especially in Asia", noted Bienaim. "In conjunction with W-CDMA, TD-SCDMA provides the key for Chinese operators to deliver a compelling portfolio of mobile broadband services in highly-penetrated urban areas at a realistic cost."
Dr Jing Wang stated at the end of the seminar: "the TD-SCDMA Forum will continue the close partnership with the UMTS Forum to create a win-win environment for both standards in China and globally".