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MediaTek to Trial 4G LTE TDD Phone in China Soon

Taiwanese chipset vendor MediaTek has developed a handset for use on China's upcoming fourth-generation (4G) mobile technology known as LTE TDD, according to a company spokeswoman.

MediaTek is still testing the mobile phone, but is preparing to trial the device in China soon, said MediaTek spokeswoman Sharon Lo on Monday. MediaTek claims it to be the first LTE TDD phone. But because China's 4G networks are still undergoing trials, the device has yet to enter mass production.

LTE TDD (Long-Term Evolution Time-Division Duplex), also known as TD-LTE in China, is one of Two LTE variants that provides higher data speeds than current third-generation (3G) networks. China has been the major supporter behind the technology and began large-scale trials using LTE TDD networks earlier this year.

The trials, which are occurring in six Chinese cities, are projected to last until 2012 and will test how the LTE TDD networks can be used commercially.

Mobile carriers such as China Mobile, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone are all backing LTE TDD technology as a global standard. In the February the companies launched a new initiative to promote the technology, with the aim of leading to the faster development of lower cost LTE TDD mobile phones.

The other LTE variant, known as LTE FDD (frequency division duplex), is largely being used by telecommunication companies in North America and Europe.

MediaTek is a major provider for mobile phone chips in China. The company has previously developed chipsets for phones using Google's Android and Microsoft Windows Mobile. Many of MediaTek's chips are also used in counterfeit handsets, which are widely sold in China. The country has more than 900 million mobile phone users, according to government statistics.

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