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China's 3G standard hits a snag

Posted: 11 Jul 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3G? China? TD-SCDMA? CDMA? CDMA2000?

A lack of test equipment remains a key hurdle to commercialization of China's 3G standard, a mobile phone test equipment supplier said last week (July 7).

China is delaying issuing 3G licenses until its domestic standard, TD-SCDMA, is ready to compete against the more mature wideband-CDMA and CDMA2000 1X specs. Government-controlled operators have been testing the standard for at least three years, and are still having problems with reliable connections between terminals and the networks, especially at data rates above 128Kbps.

"There isn't a unified test machine or environment for the terminals, which is holding back the commercialization," said Dongming Zhang, research director at BDA China Ltd, a telecom consultancy based in China.

The situation probably won't improve for some time, said Michael Stork, an engineer in the test and measurement division of Rohde & Schwartz. "The number of companies involved in producing TD-SCDMA terminals is much, much, much smaller than GSM. So the decision to develop a conformance tester especially for TD-SCDMA has not been made yet," he said.

"It's really up to operators. If operators outside of China were going to use the standard, then it might be worth it. But I suspect if you were to poll those operators, the answer wouldn't be very positive," Stork added.

- Mike Clendenin
EE Times

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