The government recently announced that licenses for the next generation of wireless services had been released, and there is speculation in the media and among analysts that years-long negotiations between China Mobile and Apple Inc. are about to bear fruit.
On December 4, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said it is issuing licenses for the country’s homegrown 4G standard – called TD-LTE – to China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. On day after the announcement, China Mobile, the world’s largest telecom operator and the leader of the development of the TD-LTE network, kicked off sales for 4G services in the capital.
So far, only eight mobile phone models available in China are compatible with the new 4G standard. These include the Samsung Note II (model N7108D), the Sony Xperia SP (M35t) and the HTC One Max (HTC8088).
There are expectations that with the rollout of 4G services, the long anticipated partnership between China Mobile and the U.S. tech giant regarding its popular iPhone will be announced. The Wall Street Journal cited a source from China Mobile on December 8 that an agreement had been reached between the two.
China Mobile has not commented on the reports. However, a company source had said the two were in the final stage of negotiations and “are waiting for a proper time to announce” a deal.
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