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August 22, 2013

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China Mobile’s 4G network to cover more areas

The 4G service, which is 20 to 50 times faster than the current 3G network, will cover more regions and bus routes in the city, the network operator China Mobile said yesterday.

The company had invited more than 1,300 people in Shanghai to try out its 4G network services. While many of them were happy with the high speed, they complained about the limited usage areas and poor data traffic.

China Mobile’s Shanghai unit had invited users to test its latest 4G products including MiFi routers, a portable device transferring signals to Wi-Fi, data cards and family-used routers based on TD-LTE (time division-long term evolution) technology, a domestic 4G technology.

It was part of the carrier’s large-scale national trials of 4G technology.

Shanghai Mobile’s 4G products provide download speeds of 10 to 15 megabytes per second, compared to one megabyte in the fastest 3G network.

“I like the feeling of flying (speed) and I hate waiting,” said Wei Zhong, an IT website editor and the first Shanghai 4G service tester, who uses the MiFi to share 4G signals for his computers, iPad and several smart phones.

But the 4G network coverage is limited now as it covers only downtown like People’s Square, Xujiahui and Nanjing Road and bus routes No. 49 and No. 926.

“I liked the service but I cannot use it at airports and railway stations,” complained  a designer surnamed Lin.

Other local users said that the monthly data capacity, 15 gigabytes, was not enough for high-speed services like film download on mobile devices.

Shanghai Mobile said it will expand the 4G coverage to include the Bund and other areas and more bus routes. It has built 1,000 base stations — 700 outdoors and 300 indoors — to cover the Inner Ring areas. It will cover the entire city by yearend,” said Xu Da, Shanghai Mobile’s general manager.

Handsets using TD-LTE are limited because the system is almost solely used in China. Popular smartphones like Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy 4 don’t support TD-LTE.



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