Hi3G has fueled global hopes for China’s TD-LTE technology, selecting ZTE to deploy what it claims is the world’s first dual-mode LTE network.
The operator, a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa, will develop networks running the TDD and FDD flavors of LTE in its home market and Denmark over the remainder of this year. But it is relying on ZTE to deliver base stations that are also capable of handling 3G services as it seeks to upgrade that network.
ZTE promises the equipment it is deploying will future proof the network, allowing for future upgrades without the need for additional infrastructure. Peder Ramel, 3 Sweden's chief executive, said that capability was a major factor in choosing the vendor, but added that ZTE’s short delivery times were also a consideration.
The deal offers ZTE “a real breakthrough” in the Nordics region, local managing director Thomas Granström said, while Zhu Jinyun, president of ZTE Europe and America, noted it “strengthens our position in LTE in Western Europe.” Spain is the only country where ZTE has an LTE presence in the region to date, company information shows.
Hi3G’s decision is also an important boost to China’s efforts to gain global acceptance for its home-grown 4G technology. Additional markets, particularly overseas, are also essential to ensuring a mass market of compatible handsets, so the carrier’s choice should help in that area too.
Last month, carriers including Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, Softbank Mobile, Vodafone and E-Plus launched the Global TD-LTE Initiative, which aims to drive development of the technology.
Japanese vendor NEC is also eying TD-LTE as a means of returning to the global infrastructure market.