Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile recently launched a TD-LTE solution that is the result of the two companies' co-development work since last year.
At Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, Spain, the two companies showcased the new lightRadio Metro Radio, which is capable of delivering 4G services across 13 cities in China for China Mobile's first trial TD-LTE network.
China Mobile said lightRadio Metro Radio is ready for large-scale commercial deployment for densely populated areas of Shanghai, Nanjing, and Qingdao, three of the fastest growing cities in China. The deployment can help meet the demands for mobile Internet, video, and data for China Mobile's growing number of subscribers, which currently number 722 million.
Alcatel-Lucent said the Chinese cities will undergo a dramatic transformation as they experience better services as China Mobile customers consume more bandwidth using their mobile devices.
"As consumption of mobile data and video escalates in China, our small lightRadio Metro Radios will satisfy demand with the highest performance that China Mobile's customers have come to expect," said Rajeev Singh-Molares, president, Alcatel-Lucent Asia Pacific .
lightRadio is a broadband infrastructure network that reduces the footprint compared to traditional mobile base stations and lowers power consumption while allowing the transfer of huge amounts of data at faster speeds.
A smaller footprint is important as more and more people are using their mobile devices for high bandwidth services, such as streaming video and gaming. Alcatel-Lucent said smaller cells are "critical to the future of wireless broadband by enabling operators to continue to provide high-quality, consistent services to customers without the need to build costly, and sometimes logistically challenging, cell towers."
In particular, lightRadio Metro Radio houses two lightRadio cubes, fully integrated with a directional antennae. This characteristic allows the cubes to cover as much as bulkier, heavier remote radio units linked to an external antenna via an RF coaxial cable.
The lightRadio Metro Radio footprint is ideal for busy indoor and outdoor locations in densely populated areas in China where radio signals may be disrupted by the density of buildings.
These locations can include shopping malls and stadiums where deployment of macro cell base stations may be too difficult to implement or too costly. Alcatel-Lucent is offering the lightRadio Metro Radio as a cost-effective alternative for these challenges.
"China Mobile is committed to delivering the high-speed and performance mobile broadband service that customers are asking for. 4G TD-LTE is undergoing the final large-scale tests before commercial deployment and once completed, the active antennae like Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio Metro Radio will be key to rolling out this service to meet our customers' needs wherever they are," said Bill Huang, president, China Mobile Research Institute.
Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile have been working on the lightRadio solution since last year, after they signed a co-creation agreement specifically to develop and test lightRadio for TD-LTE deployment in China, with TD-LTE being the 4G standard used in China.
Alcatel-Lucent said its lightRadio portfolio of products also helps operators meet growing global demand for mobile video and data with increased speeds and performance.