Yesterday broke the news that China won’t be updating their 3G mobile network to a faster 4G LTE network for at least another 2-3 years!
China’s 3G network isn’t quite the same as the faster networks other countries enjoy and is actually based on a home grown version of the technology using TD-SCDMA protocol.
TD-SCDMA is only used in China which has made it difficult for some phones to make it in China, and other phones having to limp along on much slower 2G networks, China Mobile currently estimate that there are 15 million iPhone’s running at 2G speeds instead of 3G!
One of the problems is that China’s 3 largest mobile operators run networks on their own standards of China’s 3G fragmenting the market still.
However, there is a distant silver lining in that China is currently pushing these networks to use LTE TDD 4G, the global standard for 4G, however it could take as long as 3 years for the networks to implement the update and even longer for the whole country to get coverage!
This news is likely to upset those wanting to get their hands on faster 4G phones such as Nokia’s new Windows phones, or even Apple fans wanting to buy the new 4G enabled iPad.
So what is the solution? Will manufacturers release special 3G versions of their super phone for the Chinese market for the next few years, or will 4G LTE equipped device like the new iPad arrive in China, only to make do with much slower connection speeds for the near future?