Chinese handset maker ZTE plans to build LTE devices with a standard used in China and elsewhere around the world, according to Reuters.
The news service reported today that Japan's Softbank may be among its first customers. ZTE is supposedly talking to Softbank for a potential order of TD-LTE devices.
Long Term Evolution, or LTE, technology is the fourth-generation wireless technology that wireless providers around the world are using to bring faster networks and more capacity to their subscribers. There are two main types of LTE technologies: TD-LTE, or time division LTE; and FDD-LTE, or frequency division duplex LTE.
U.S. wireless operators such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T are adopting FDD-LTE for their 4G networks. But TD-LTE is being used in some deployments in Asia. Namely, China Mobile is using a variant of TD-LTE for its 4G service.
Clearwire, which is building a nationwide wholesale wireless network in the U.S., plans to use TD-LTE for its LTE deployment. The company has deployed a different technology known as WiMax for 4G service.
ZTE has already been selling FDD-LTE handsets to wireless operators throughout the world. But now it looks like it's getting ready to build TD-LTE handsets as well. Scott Wang, vice president of ZTE, told Reuters in an interview in Shanghai that the TD-LTE handsets will be available by the end of the year.
Expanding its portfolio to handle a different version of LTE will help the company better compete globally against handset heavyweights Samsung and Nokia.