ZTE grows foothold in EU with $250m wireless deal

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
ZTE has increased its foothold in the European market by winning a $250 million contract to build a unified GSM/UMTS/LTE network for Telenor Hungary.
 
The Chinese vendor will deploy 6,000 base stations throughout Hungary over the next five years, according to the terms of the €200 million ($253.6m) contract. Telenor Hungary will then roll-out multi-band wireless services on the network.
 
In an interview with FT.com, ZTE CEO Shi Lirong said the deal shows that ZTE's strategy of building its market share in Europe - which started with a customized handsets push - is starting to pay off.
 
“Virtually all European operators have shortlisted us now... [and] that has happened over the course of this year,” he said.
 
He said he expected ZTE to secure several more large deals in Europe over the next few months.
 
Telenor Hungary's CEO, Anders Jensen, added that ZTE won the contract by undercutting its competitors in terms of TCO.
 
ZTE has previously won deals to build a Wimax network for Telefonica in Spain, and upgrade and extend KPN's mobile networks.
 
The company has built unified GSM/UMTS/LTE networks for Telenor in India and Montenegro.

The Hungary deal is also important for ZTE because every LTE contract won helps solidify the vendor's reputation as a 4G equipment supplier, a telecom analyst told Reuters.
 
Europe – particularly Eastern Europe - is shaping up to be a key area of focus for both ZTE and rival Huawei

MORE ARTICLES ON EUROPE, TELENOR HUNGARY, ZTE

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