China Mobile Ltd. (HKG:0941) users will be able to connect to 4G LTE starting December 18th, according to Xinhua. China Unicom and China Telecom are expected to get 4G LTE shortly after that. The 4G LTE network will be launching in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Chongqing first. Shanghai is still building their city-wide 4G network.
With the launch of a 4G LTE network, this means that China Mobile could start selling TD-LTE versions of the iPhone model. The rollout of 4G was one of the primary bottlenecks preventing Apple to partner with China Mobile since TD-LTE iPhones are already certified by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
China Mobile is the largest carrier in China with 760 million of 1.22 billion mobile subscribers. China Mobile provides 176 million of China’s 421 million 3G users. The MIIT said that the rollout of 4G networks would happen before the end of the year and it looks like they came through, albeit late into the year.