MWC 2012 Photos: ZTE Booth Tour

It was ZTE's turn to tell us in just 10 minutes about three key products it was showing off at Mobile World Congress -- here's what we saw

March 16, 2012

BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2012 -- Having toured the stands at Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Nokia Networks and NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701), we sharpened our pencil, wiped our camera lenses (make of this what you will) and headed for a 10-minute tour of the ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) stand in Barcelona. (See MWC 2012 Photos: NEC Booth Tour, MWC 2012 Photos: NSN Booth Tour, MWC 2012 Photos: AlcaLu Booth Tour and MWC 2012 Photos: Ericsson Booth Tour.)

ZTE was the fifth of six mobile network equipment vendors we visited with a photographer at this year's MWC, and we gave them all the exact same challenge: Show us your three market leading/cutting edge/most important products and tell us about them in just 10 minutes.

The idea of the exercise is to determine what average visitors might be shown if they were trying to get a sense for what the major mobile vendors are focused on right now. All the companies were given the exact same advance brief, treatment and opportunity: Some found that easier to do than others.

So here's what we saw when we dropped in on ZTE, with the overall grade, based on perceived performance, relevance and other factors (some rather subjective), provided with the final picture caption.

Click on the picture below to start the tour.


All photos taken by Siqui Sánchez/Getty Images, but he's not in any way responsible for the picture selection or the words.

You can see how ZTE and its peers performed last year by checking out the 2011 booth tours below:

  • MWC 2011 Photos: AlcaLu Booth Tour

  • MWC 2011 Photos: Huawei Booth Tour

  • MWC 2011 Photos: ZTE Booth Tour

  • MWC 2011 Photos: Ericsson Booth Tour

  • MWC 2011 Photos: Cisco Booth Tour

  • MWC 2011 Photos: NSN Booth Tour

  • MWC 2011 Photos: NEC Booth Tour

  • MWC 2011 Photo Tour Report Card

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

2465.jpgHard to Miss501.jpgFinding the ZTE stand in Hall 8 wasn't difficult. Now we just had to find our guide. Advance Guard6965.jpgOur main guide for the 10-minute tour was Peng He, who quickly launched into the first of ZTE's three featured products, the vendor's LTE-Advanced base station.Advanced Aggregation6286.jpgThe system, which is commercially available now, supports two frequency bands -- 2.6 GHz and 1.8 GHZ -- and has been designed to aggregate the capacity of the two 20MHz carriers it supports.Next-Gen Speed2505.jpgThe aggregation capability of the product means it can support a theoretical maximum downlink speed of up to 300Mbit/s, said Peng He.On the Rails8718.jpgZTE is so taken with the speed capabilities that it designed a special dashboard, with a train on tracks, to show how much faster aggregated LTE-Advanced can be compared with current regular LTE. (This was just a visual display and not a product, so didn't count as product No. 2.) Well Organized310.jpgNext up was ZTE's SON (Self-Organizing Networks) system, which was designed to help manage LTE networks but expanded to cover 3G and 2G networks too.Planning Ahead5874.jpgThe SON system, already in use in various markets such as Austria and Sweden, is set to become increasingly important as LTE networks grow to include tens of thousands of macro and micro base stations, noted Peng He.Pick and Mix3253.jpgThe SON system has been designed in a modular fashion so it can be focused on particular functions, such as element management, configuration, planning, and so on, added the ZTE man as we scribbled furiously. The Small Sell 4881.jpgThe third and final product was ZTE's newly-launched multi-mode pico base station supporting LTE TDD and Wi-Fi, designed to be used either inside or outdoors.Are You Getting All This?8769.jpgAs our guide for this product checked our pen was still working, she explained that the pico product supported 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz bands and was capable of supporting LTE TDD and Wi-Fi simultaneously. And that was time up!The Overall Experience758.jpgSo now it was time to assess ZTE's presentation. There's no doubt that the company has improved its stand tour performance through the years. The products presented to us in 10 minutes were cutting edge and relevant, with the final one combining not only the small cell architecture but targeted at the increasingly-important LTE TDD market that's set to boom in China and India particularly during the next few years. The one thing that took the shine off the overall experience was that the LTE-Advanced product was presented to us last year, too. But overall, a job well done. ZTE gets an A- grade.

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