It was reported on April 22 that since China Mobile’s TD-LTE terminal centralized procurement required single-chip five-mode last year, the debate on the use of three-mode and five-mode TD-LTE terminals has not stopped. The purpose of China Mobile’s mandatory requirement to go up to five models has also caused a lot of speculation in the industry.

Recently, China Mobile updated the “White Paper on TD Customized Terminal Products”, officially requiring that all TD-LTE customized devices must be five-mode products from May 31. On April 10, at the “China Smart Terminal Industry Summit Forum” jointly held by the Telecommunications Research Institute of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the TD Industry Alliance, Zheng Zheng, the project manager of the Product Department of China Mobile Terminal Corporation, made a presentation on China Mobile’s TD-LTE terminal product strategy in the second half of the year. The interpretation clarifies the policy of all five-mode custom machines in the second half of the year, but no longer requires all single-chip SoC solutions.

No longer forcing five-mode single-chip

One of the main points of Zheng Zheng’s interpretation is that terminal resources are fully tilted towards TD-LTE. With the maturity of TD-LTE smart phones, by the third quarter, the shipment volume will be reversed with that of TD-SCDMA, forming a situation where TD-LTE surpasses by a large margin. Zheng Zheng believes that in the second half of the year, the overall TD-LTE chip will meet the market demand, driving the price of TD-LTE five-mode smart phones to drop rapidly to the order of 600~700.

The second point is the coexistence of multiple modes in the first half of the year, and all five modes in the second half of the year. According to the data provided by Zheng Zheng, it is estimated that in the first half of the year, 95 models of three (four) models and 35 models of five models will be launched; . Among them, all customized machines require five molds.

According to industry insiders at the scene, all five-mode customized machines also means a substantial transfer of China Mobile’s resources, and the trend of five-mode is irreversible. However, some people in the industry pointed out that China Mobile’s annual goal for this year is very ambitious, and it is impossible to achieve it with only five models. It must promote three-mode products. “The development of three-mode products in the second half of the year still depends on whether China Mobile’s channel subsidy policy is effective.”

In addition, the speech also mentioned that China Mobile no longer requires five-mode single-chip. This can be seen as China Mobile’s goodwill to the local chip manufacturers who have made important contributions to TD-SCDMA. After all, the five-mode single-chip solution of the local chip manufacturers will not mature until the second half of the year. Zheng Zheng pointed out that the single-chip dual-card products will be launched in the second quarter.

However, some people in the industry pointed out that the cost and power consumption of the patching solution are high, and it can only be a short-term emergency solution. The market volume still requires three-mode and five-mode SoC products.

Local chipmakers still face multiple challenges

Although China Mobile has shown goodwill towards local chipmakers, Jin Yidun, deputy secretary general of the TD Industry Alliance, believes that local chipmakers will still face multiple challenges.

One is the entry of foreign mainstream chip manufacturers, resulting in more intense competition. According to statistics, the mainstream TD-LTE chip manufacturers at home and abroad already include Qualcomm, MediaTek, Marvell, Samsung, Intel, Broadcom, Nvidia, Ericsson, Sequans, Altera, Hisilicon, ZTE Micro, Leadcore, Spreadtrum, Chongyouxin, 15 such as RDA and Avago. Local chip manufacturers face global competition, especially the competition from foreign chip giants with FDD advantages.

The second is the inevitable development trend of multi-mode and multi-frequency. Operators also have demand for six-mode chips. Five-mode chips will be mature and commercialized in the second half of the year, and compatibility with CDMA mode will be considered in 2015. Five-mode products Qualcomm has already occupied most of the share, and due to its absolute control over CDMA, only Qualcomm currently has six-mode commercial chips, and local chip manufacturers are out of reach.

The multi-core and 64-bit upgrade of the CPU has led to a large increase in the purchase of IP cores by chip manufacturers. The high integration of peripheral wireless modules such as Bluetooth and WiFi with the CPU requires a lot of capital investment. Foreign chip giants started early. After decades of accumulation, they have strong financial resources to invest in development. For relatively weak local chip manufacturers, it is a very real problem.

The third is the increasing risk of intellectual property rights. The TD-SCDMA chips previously developed by local chip manufacturers are mainly used in the domestic market. The internationalization of LTE, FDD/TDD dual-mode integration, and the multi-mode demand of terminals have accelerated the trend of TD-LTE patent decentralization, resulting in more Intellectual Property Risk. In particular, foreign chip giants such as Qualcomm have adopted discriminatory competitive strategies against domestic manufacturers, exploiting Chinese terminal manufacturers by exploiting their patent first-mover advantage and attacking local competitors.

Kim Eidun said that countries such as Japan and South Korea have already established patent technology institutions through official and private cooperation to protect the rights of domestic enterprises to obtain fair competition in the market. Drawing on international experience, the TD Industry Alliance (TDIA) announced on the same day that it will join forces with the upstream and downstream core enterprises in the TD industry chain to establish China’s first mobile technology patent company. By building a mobile patent system, it can defend and deal with possible future patent disputes and enhance the market of local enterprises. Competitive advantages.

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