updated 04:53 pm EDT, Thu March 14, 2013
Carrier aims squarely at iPhone support
China Mobile has announced plans to spend $6.7 billion in developing its 4G LTE network during 2013, Reuters says. The carrier adds that it expects to have licenses by the end of the year; Reuters indicates that the company is aiming explicitly at supporting the iPhone, which is incompatible with its 3G network. Mobile uses a proprietary 3G standard, TD-SCDMA, which has so far led Apple to favor Mobile's rivals, China Unicom and China Telecom.
There are already over 10 million iPhone users on Mobile's network, but the people are restricted to 2G and Wi-Fi data, and are typically using gray- or black-market devices due to the need to unlock. Mobile has been negotiating with Apple for some time, but now appears to be simply waiting on the completion of LTE infrastructure.