& cplSiteName &

ZTE Scores Euro 3G Deal With KPN

Ray Le Maistre
12/23/2009
50%
50%

A combination of dogged persistence and low prices has netted ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) a 3G mobile infrastructure deal with European operator KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN).

KPN is to expand and upgrade its networks in Belgium and Germany -- at KPN Group Belgium and E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH -- with the Chinese vendor's HSPA (high-speed packet access) gear.

The deal is significant for ZTE, as the company has been striving to emulate rival Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. by securing business with major European carriers in key markets. The company noted in October that it was seeking "to increase our presence in key markets such as Western Europe and North America while reinforcing our position in the 3G market at home," following the creation of a dedicated division to further its international ambitions. (See ZTE Rides High on Chinese 3G, ZTE Readies Fresh Assault on Europe, US, and ZTE Unveils New 'Western' Division.)

To date, ZTE has had limited success in Western Europe. Now it seems its strategy is starting to pay off -- but at what price? Financial details have not been revealed by either party.

What is known, though, is that KPN believes it has secured a good deal. The carrier noted in a short announcement Wednesday that the engagement with ZTE will "significantly accelerate the roll-out of KPN’s 3G networks in Germany and Belgium at significantly lower costs," and that the choice of ZTE is in line with the carrier's strategy of "focusing on Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)."

Put another way, KPN is looking for the cheapest deal it can find.

That operators are looking for the most cost-effective rollouts isn't new or surprising, but it is increasingly leading to decisions that might have been unthinkable only a few years ago. KPN's announcement comes only days after Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) saw a home-turf LTE deal slip through its hands when Huawei was chosen for a nationwide, next-generation, mobile network rollout in Sweden. Ericsson noted on that occasion that it couldn't match the Chinese vendor's low prices. (See Huawei Beats Ericsson to Swedish LTE Deal.)

Ericsson is one of the companies that would have hoped to pick up this latest KPN business, as it's an existing 3G infrastructure supplier to KPN in the Netherlands as well as to E-Plus, having landed a contract with the German operator in March 2008. (See KPN Picks Ericsson for HSDPA.) Nokia Networks is also an E-Plus 3G network supplier. (See E-Plus Upgrades With NSN.)

And while it's not so unusual these days for the likes of Ericsson, NSN, and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) to lose out to their Chinese rivals for infrastructure deals, it's unusual for ZTE to be trumping Chinese rival Huawei for European business.

KPN had not responded to requests for further details about its 3G expansion as this article was published.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Is US Lurching Back to Monopoly Status?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Pai's FCC Raises Alarms at Competitive Carriers
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
The Big Cable DAA Update
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/11/2017
Telecom Italia Covers 73% of Italy With NB-IoT
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/13/2017
Tribalism Is Rife in Telecom, Too
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/13/2017
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed