ZTE maintained the Mobile World Congress’ focus on TD-LTE, boasting it has scored 18 deals to date just two days after China Mobile predicted big things for the technology in 2011.
The deals for trial and commercial networks span 12 countries in Europe, CIS, and India and other Asia Pacific countries.
TD-LTE is lining up as one of two potential backhaul technologies for the 2.6GHz spectrum, which together will drive value of the wider wireless broadband market to $5 billion (€3.6 billion) in 2011, according to Maravedis.
While ZTE stakes it claim as a leading player in the market, Rethink Wireless’ Caroline Gabriel points out the 18 contracts figure is likely to include Indian carrier Reliance Infocom and China Mobile, which are testing multiple vendors' equipment.
That means neither carrier is a done deal, remaining instead a lucrative long-term play. China Mobile’s trial alone, for example, covers 3,000 base stations in major cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guanzhou.
China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou told the Congress on Monday commercial network rollouts will start in ten countries this year, spurred by a new global initiative to drive the technology into fresh markets.
The Global TD-LTE initiative was formed by carriers including Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, Clearwire, SoftBank and Vodafone, prompting Wang to predict a strong year for the technology, Digitimes.com reported.
Wang’s firm has, itself, struck deals with nine operators covering 26 trial networks, the news site said.