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China Mobile, Ericsson seal $1B GSM deal

Posted: 13 Jun 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:2G services? GSM expansion? 3G?

China has agreed to let in core and radio network equipment from Ericsson AB to help boost GSM coverage in the emerging economy. The $1 billion deal with China Mobile Ltd, China's largest telecom firm, highlights the continuing importance of 2G services in the country.

China Mobile is expected to launch 3G services in late 2007 or early 2008 using a Chinese technology known as TD-SCDMA. Once this new 3G technology gets a foothold, other Chinese operators will launch rival services based on CDMA2000 EV-DO and WCDMA.

The progress of 3G is being keenly watched in China, if only because it is the world's largest wireless telecom market. But because recent growth in the Asian country is being driven by less wealthy second- and third-tier cities, there is still a need to improve and expand 2G services coverage. Ericsson said its equipment would be used to boost China Mobile's GSM coverage in 19 regions of China.

Companies like Ericsson and Nokia-Siemens dominate the legacy networks in China, while local firms like Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd and ZTE Corp. are expected to get a larger share of contracts for 3G infrastructure.

- Mike Clendenin
EE Times

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