ZTE wins $200m Reliance deal

Dylan Bushell-Embling
16 Sep 2010

ZTE has picked up a 2G/3G supply contract in India worth nearly $200 million, a month after the government lifted restrictions on the import of Chinese gear.

The vendor will supply Reliance Communications with 2G and 3G equipment in eight circles.

The contract will involve the supply of approximately 15,000 base stations, of which around 5,000 will be 3G-compliant, while the remaining 10,000 will be 2G, a Reliance executive told the Economic Times.

The vendor last week also won a $64 million contract to supply Wimax equipment to state-owned BSNL.

Reliance and Tata Teleservices were the first Indian operators to be granted permission to order equipment from ZTE and Huawei last month, after the Chinese companies agreed in principle to new regulations requiring vendors to make their source code available in escrow for security authorities.

Tata Teleservices early this month tapped Huawei to rollout 3G in five of the nine circles for which the operator has acquired spectrum.

India has proposed strict new equipment import rules, that put the onus of compliance on operators, but has put these on hold pending a review following complaints by European suppliers.

However, the awarding of the 3G contracts is an indication that operators are once more confident of sourcing equipment from the Chinese vendors.

ZTE blamed the restrictions on India sales for a 19% decline in non-China Asian revenue.

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