Samsung Electronics is positioning itself to be one of the first handset vendors to tap into China’s upcoming market for 4G services by introducing new Galaxy S4 phones capable of operating on both FDD and TDD LTE networks. The South Korean company will bring FDD/TDD LTE dual-mode Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 mini phones to China once the country officially launches commercial 4G services, the company said on Thursday.
Currently, most Western nations are deploying 4G networks using FDD LTE technology. But in China, the government has been heavily promoting the use of TDD LTE networks. The country’s largest carrier, China Mobile, with 740 million customers, has been building trial networks with the 4G standard.Local officials have said China will issue the 4G commercial licenses later this year.
Research firm IDC expects that could be as soon as September. China is the world’s largest smartphone market, and Samsung reigns as the country’s top vendor with a 19 percent share, according to IDC. The research firm’s forecasts show that in 2014, a quarter of all smartphones shipped to China will be designed for 4G networks. By 2017, that figure will reach 50 percent Samsung’s dual mode phones will allow users to seamlessly roam over different LTE networks, the company said. The handset maker plans to launch other TDD-LTE devices in other markets in the third quarter.
Outside of China, TDD LTE networks are seeing growing adoption in certain nations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania.
In Australia, local carrier Optus will launch the FDD/TDD LTE dual-mode phones in a few weeks.