22 Jul 2009 08:20

ZTE and Huawei to spend at least $73 mln replacing base stations for China Mobile

Beijing. July 22. INTERFAX-CHINA - It is expected that ZTE Corp. and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. will spend at least RMB 500 million ($73.18 million) replacing base stations provided by Datang Mobile Communications Equipment Co. Ltd. during China Mobile's first phase of TD-SCDMA network construction, a China Mobile employee told Interfax on July 21.

"We are upgrading all the network equipment used in the 10 cities that formed our first phase of TD-SCDMA network construction, as it was too bulky, not eco-friendly and incompatible for future upgrades to LTE (Long Term Evolution), the 4G technology," a China Mobile employee from the network planning department, who wished to remain anonymous, said. "Most suppliers agreed to replace the outdated equipment with more advanced version for free, while state-owned Datang Mobile was unable to do so."

The employee confirmed that ZTE would replace 3,000 Datang Mobile-made TD-SCDMA base stations for China Mobile's Guangzhou subsidiary while Huawei would replace approximately 4,000 base stations originally deployed by Datang Mobile on behalf of Shanghai Mobile. Both privately-owned companies will undertake the task at no cost to China Mobile.

"By absorbing the replacement costs, ZTE and Huawei have now secured future upgrade or capacity expansion projects from China Mobile in the two cities," the employee said.

Datang Mobile locked in 27.46 percent of the network equipment tender for first phase construction, while ZTE was the biggest winner, accounting for 45.54 percent of the total contract value. ZTE, Huawei and Datang Mobile also attained sizeable portions of China Mobile's second and third round network equipment tender.

The employee added that Datang Mobile's base stations for the second and third phase of TD-SCDMA network construction are more advanced and able to support LTE.