ZTE to build network for Telenor Hungary

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 August, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 August, 2010, 12:00am

ZTE Corp's expansion in Europe took another step forward yesterday with a contract to build a 4G cellular- system-ready network in Hungary for telecommunications giant Telenor Group.

The mainland's largest listed manufacturer of telecommunications equipment reportedly signed a Euro200 million (HK$1.97 billion) contract that will see it deploy across Hungary more than 6,000 cellular base stations, including 4G nodes based on the so-called Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless technology.

The five-year project will allow Telenor Hungary, a subsidiary of the Norwegian group, to offer its subscribers a 'unified network' that combines the more advanced LTE infrastructure with the more familiar 2G and 3G systems.

'This is a positive for ZTE in Europe, where its revenue grew between 70 and 80 per cent in the first half of this year,' Macquarie Securities analyst Lisa Soh said.

A unified network enables an operator to support multi-mode and multi-band wireless services that can cover different market segments, from budget-conscious consumers to high-usage enterprises.

That set-up eliminates the need for further infrastructure upgrades, providing the operator with flexibility to roll out new services. It also paves the way for a smooth evolution path to 4G, which delivers data access speeds of at least 100 megabits per second.

'We now see that the time has come to switch to the next gear and take the lead in providing even faster and even more reliable services to our customers,' Telenor Hungary chief executive Anders Jensen said.

Kenneth Fredriksen, general manager of ZTE's Telenor business unit, said the deal was 'another major breakthrough in the European market', and 'further cements our partnership with Telenor'.

ZTE has previously built 4G-ready unified networks for Telenor in India and Montenegro.

Worldwide, ZTE has so far rolled out seven commercial LTE networks and more than 50 trial LTE systems.

Last week ZTE reported a 10.89 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue to US$4.524 billion in the six months to June, about 18 per cent of which was turnover contributed by its US and European operations.

The company's total international revenue increased 19.58 per cent year on year to US$2.246 billion, accounting for 49.65 per cent of its total turnover. Overall net profit grew 12.02 per cent year on year to US$129.143 million.