Nokia Networks wins US$1b China Mobile equipment contract

Framework agreement with China Mobile includes high-speed 4G equipment delivery

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 31 October, 2015, 2:21am
UPDATED : Saturday, 31 October, 2015, 2:21am

Finnish telecommunications powerhouse Nokia Networks has landed a broad equipment supply and services deal valued at more than US$1 billion with China Mobile, the world's largest wireless network operator by subscribers.

Their framework agreement, which was signed in Beijing on Thursday, will involve delivery of Nokia Networks' high-speed 4G equipment built on the latest version of the mainland-developed standard called time-division long-term evolution, called TD-LTE Advanced.

Other hardware deployments include core network solutions that support 2G, 3G and 4G services, as well as voice-over-LTE technology.

Professional services include network planning, implementation and maintenance for China Mobile's 4G network roll-out from this year.

"This major agreement with China Mobile marks another milestone in our more than 20 years of partnership," Mike Wang, the president for greater China operations at Nokia Networks, said on Friday.

Nokia Networks is the telecommunications equipment subsidiary of former mobile phone giant Nokia Corp, which is listed in Helsinki and New York.

In April, parent Nokia announced its acquisition of telecommunications gear maker Alcatel-Lucent in an all-stock deal worth €15.6 billion to create the world's second-largest supplier of wireless communications equipment, behind Sweden's Ericsson and ahead of Huawei Technologies. That merger with Alcatel-Lucent is expected to close in the first quarter next year.

"Unlike Ericsson, both Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent have managed to grow sales in China on a year-on-year basis," Bernstein senior analyst Pierre Ferragu said in a research note yesterday.

The latest 4G deal of Nokia Networks on the mainland has also reinforced the company's position as the largest non-Chinese telecommunications equipment supplier to China Mobile.

Shenzhen-based Huawei and ZTE have the largest share of telecommunications equipment supply contracts with all three of China's wireless network operators - China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.

In October last year, Nokia Networks won a €970 million contract to supply TD-LTE gear and services to China Mobile.