It’s no secret that Clearwire is looking at rolling out an LTE network of their own here in the States, but a recently announced partnership could bring them some big support from overseas. The 4G internet provider has inked a deal with state-owned China Mobile to collaborate on the development of new TD-LTE devices.
TD-LTE is a network standard that China Mobile has been working to implement during the past few years. China Mobile’s forthcoming TD-LTE network runs on the 2.5 GHz frequency, which (what a coincidence!) matches up rather nicely with Clearwire’s own LTE licenses. Their partnership hinges on the development of multi-mode devices that could see use in either market.
For a company that’s rumored to be gobbled up soon, this partnership could be exactly what they need to stave off an acquisition. What Clearwire is really after is here is access: by helping to develop and expand the TD-LTE standard, they not only make it easier for OEMs to start working on devices usable by both companies, they also get in on the ground floor for potentially lucrative roaming agreements.
Of course, this all supposes that Clearwire can get the $600 million in funding necessary to start building out their TD-LTE network. Neither company has made mention of it, but if China Mobile were to pitch in a few bucks, it could generate some more state-side influence for China’s biggest wireless carrier.