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China's ZTE bags $700M deal from India telecom firm

Posted: 30 Nov 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ZTE Corp.? Reliance Communications? transceivers? receivers? soft switches?

Indian telecom Reliance Communications has awarded a $700 million contract to China's ZTE Corp. for GSM equipment, including base transceiver stations, receivers and soft switches.

The equipment will be supplied to Reliance after India's ministry of communications allots the spectrum for the company's proposed GSM services, according to a report from Mumbai in the Business Standard on Nov. 28.

Reliance is believed to be planning to issue a tender for 75 million GSM lines, among the biggest contracts for telecom equipment to come out of India, and nearly twice in size of the last big tender. Issued by the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, that tender was for 45 million lines for equipment worth about $5 billion.

Other equipment vendors such as Alcatel, Huawei and Motorola are also in the race to get business from yet-to-be-issued Reliance tenders, since the ZTE contract is only a part of Reliance's foray into GSM services. Reliance is among the biggest CDMA-based wireless services firms in India.

ZTE is said to have provided technology and equipment to Reliance for conducting beta tests on GSM lines. In addition, the Chinese firm had recently signed a joint venture agreement with India's McorpGlobal after India's Foreign Investment Promotion Board rejected its appeals to go it alone in India.

- K.C. Krishnadas
EE Times

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