China's Mega CDMA Tender

4:45 PM -- China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA) has expanded its CDMA network equipment tender to cover 340 cities -- up big-time from an initial 81 cities -- by consolidating two rounds of bidding for its CDMA network expansion, according to a report from Interfax China.

Rumors already abound about how much vendors have won of China Telecom's CDMA equipment business, but the operator has not yet officially announced the winners, and the tender process is not expected to be completed by the end of the year. One such speculation has it that the spoils are divvied up among Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Nortel Networks Ltd. , and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763)

China Telecom announced that it plans to spend $11.7 billion over the next three years on upgrading the CDMA network that it is acquiring from China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU) (See China Telecom's Big Numbers and China Begins $70B Carrier Revamp.)

These first CDMA tenders in China should give a much-needed shot in the arm for the ailing CDMA businesses of the likes of AlcaLu and Nortel. (See AlcaLu's Q2 Dragged Down by CDMA, AlcaLu Looks to China , and Nortel 4G Plans Up in the Air.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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