Still plenty to do to realize that potential
However, Shanghais exclusive coverage highlights the immaturity of the technology. The technical specifications of the Expo network further underscore how much work still needs to be done. Current downlink speeds are hardly astronomical at 25Mbps and the network can only handle 1,000 users or fewer.
Subsequently, the success of TD-LTE depends on technical development continuing at its current rate. The Chinese authorities attitude to China Mobiles deployment will be crucial too. A delay in China, as with TD-SCDMA, could be fatal to global prospects in particular the harmonization with FDD.
Furthermore, the trial, although highlighting multiple vendors, is understandably heavily biased towards local Chinese players, particularly in terms of the devices. The two trial dongles seen in Shanghai were double the size of todays HSPA modems, with poor power consumption, and are still not ready for commercial use. The need for further development was conceded, but the device ecosystem will need to broaden considerably to bolster technical advances, lower costs, and broaden the product portfolio.
Yet, these are issues that any nascent technology must overcome. If China Mobile can kick-start its domestic deployment in a timely manner, the Shanghai Expo really could be offering a glimpse into the future.
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