ZTE still set for E-Plus 4G deal

Michael Carroll
26 Jul 2013

A recent 4G network management deal between German cellco E-Plus and Chinese vendor ZTE won’t be affected by a Telefonica acquisition of the operator in the near term.

A spokesman for E-Plus parent KPN told TelecomsEMEA.net it won’t be changing its approach to the German market in the near term, because Telefonica’s proposed take over has yet to be approved by shareholders and competition authorities.

“Until then, as we have said on Tuesday, we have no reason to change our strategy in Germany,” spokesman Stefan Simons says.

KPN’s board this week agreed to sell its German subsidiary to Telefonica for €5 billion ($7.19 billion). The Spanish telco plans to merge E-Plus with its local O2 business, creating a market leading mobile operator in terms of subscriber numbers, and propelling Telefonica to the position of Europe’s number two operator.

The deal was announced a fortnight after E-Plus awarded a five year contract to ZTE covering the deployment and operation of its 4G network.

While KPN stopped short of stating the deal will definitely stand, the inference is that no decisions will be taken until 1H14, when the Telefonica acquisition is expected to close.

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