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Nokia Siemens Scores China 3G Deals

Nokia Networks is set to get a good slice of the 3G equipment pie in China this year.

The vendor announced today that it has frame agreements in place with China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU) and China Mobile Communications Corp. that are valued at 7.6 billion Renminbi (US$1.1 billion) during 2009 for 2G and 3G equipment and services.

For China Unicom, Nokia Siemens will roll out WCDMA networks in 11 Chinese provinces. And for China Mobile, Nokia Siemens will provide China's homegrown 3G standard TD-SCDMA networks as well as GSM networks. (See MWC 2009: Nokia Siemens Booth Tour.)

The deals are among the many lucrative contracts expected from the country this year since China restructured the telecom service provider market to create three mega fixed and mobile operators -- China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA) -- and issued 3G licenses. (See China to Get 3G – At Last!, China Gets 3G Green Light, and China Awards 3G Licenses.)

Operators plan to invest tens of billions of dollars to build out their mobile infrastructures. Reportedly, China's Minister for Industry and Information Technology, Li Yizhong, has said operator 3G-related capex is estimated to be at least $29 billion this year. (See China's 3G Move to Trigger Spending, Unicom Plans Capex Blowout, and China Mobile to Unleash 3G Next Year.)

Nokia Siemens says it has six research and development centers in China and that it is pioneering work on the next generation of China's 3G TD-SCDMA standard -- that is, a time division duplex (TDD) version of Long-Term Evolution (LTE), called TD-LTE, which is championed by China Mobile. (See China Mobile Preps LTE Network, TD-LTE Heads For MWC, and NSN Beefs Up Its Unified Base Station.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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