Hot on the heels of their Chinese distribution deal, RIM has announced that they’re working with China Mobile not only on a TD-SCDMA handset, but one compatible with China’s emerging TD-LTE standard. This is the first time we’ve heard RIM talking firmly about LTE, and it’s pretty exciting to think about what they’ve got planned for the rest of the world. TD-LTE will be built about China’s existing TD-SCDMA network, which is specific to the country (so you won’t be able to get one shipped in and use it at home on a local LTE network).
China Mobile began their TD-LTE trials about two years ago, and since then HTC has been the only handset manufacturer to commit to supporting it. As far as RIM is concerned, there has been talk for some time that an LTE BlackBerry is in the works and it’s headed to meroPCS. While no date has been set for such a smartphone in China, they’re promising to bring some long-overdue BlackBerry Internet Service and something for SMBs (BlackBerry Professional Software?) in 2010. This should do wonders for getting RIM to bust out of the corporate niche and dive into the Chinese market at large.