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Nokia Takes One From Siemens

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LR Mobile News Analysis
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Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has unseated Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE) from a W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) network contract in Taiwan, avenging in part the loss of European 3G network deals earlier this year.

The Finnish vendor has won a sole-supplier expansion deal at Taiwan Cellular Corp. (TCC) for the supply of core and radio network equipment (see Nokia Wins TCC Deal).

Previous W-CDMA network deployment at the carrier involved kit from both Nokia and Siemens. In January last year the German vendor talked up its “first UMTS order in Asia” following its seven-year success as sole GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) supplier to TCC (see Siemens Wins UMTS Deal).

“We are the sole [3G] supplier now,” says Nokia’s communications director Thomas Jönsson. According to a statement, “deliveries have already begun to support a preliminary service launch in the first quarter of 2005.”

TCC is the country’s largest wireless carrier. Research firm EMC gives the operator a subscriber base of 5.5 million.

Jönsson declines to divulge financial details of the deal but claims the win makes Nokia “the number öne 3G supplier in Taiwan föllöwing an earlier win with Chunghwa Telecom.” (See Nokia Expands Chunghwa.)

Nokia’s win over Siemens is significant in light of previous battles between the two vendors. Earlier this year, Siemens ousted the Finnish vendor from two publicly announced 3G network contracts (see Siemens Steals Nokia Deal and Siemens Boots Nokia (Again)).

Siemens was unable to return calls by press time.

The W-CDMA air interface is part of the Universal Mobile Telecommunications Standard (UMTS). Used with existing GSM core networks, W-CDMA-compliant handsets and base stations can increase wireless data transfer rates to a theoretical maximum of 2 Mbit/s. Realistic rates to date have been around the 200-300 kbit/s mark.

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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