China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) today granted China Telecom (NYSE: CHA; 0728.HK) and China Unicom (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH) approval to separately carry out TD-LTE/FDD-LTE hybrid network trials in 16 cities. The MIIT issued TD-LTE licenses to China's three major telecom operators in December 2013.
The MIIT plans to issue standalone FDD-LTE licenses to qualified applicants in the future.
Editor's Note: Both China Unicom and China Telecom have been granted permission to conduct network trials in 16 specified cities: both operators in Shanghai, Xi'an, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shijiazhuang, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Jinan, Chongqing, and Zhengzhou; Unicom only in Guangzhou, Changsha, Shenyang, Harbin, and Fuzhou; and China Telecom only in Hefei, Haikou, Nanchang, Nanning and Lanzhou.
For more background on this topic, please see "Rumor: China Telecom Wins FDD-LTE Trial Network License" MD 6/24/14 issue and "MIIT Issues TD-LTE Licenses to China's Three Telcos" MD 12/04/13 issue.