Nokia Networks Unveils $970M 4G Deal With China Mobile

Nokia Networks has further cemented its 4G relationship with China Mobile, revealing a $970 million deal with the massive Asian carrier.

Nokia Networks , which already styles itself as "the top non-Chinese vendor" for China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL)'s LTE TDD rollout, is providing technology -- including its Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and GSM wireless networking equipment, core application platforms, OSS, software, and services -- for the 4G deployment this year and in 2015. It started shipping gear under this agreement at the start of 2014. (See Nokia Networks Boasts China Mobile 4G Deals.)

The deal has already had a positive effect on Nokia's financials. (See Nokia Holds Steady in Q2, Raises Outlook.)

Need to know more about 4G? Visit Light Reading's 4G/LTE channel.

Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) -- also known as TD-LTE -- is China's home-grown 4G standard. TDD technology uses a single channel and a timed signal to separate uploads and downloads to get its mobile broadband mojo. That contrasts with the frequency division duplex (FDD) versions of LTE more commonly deployed elsewhere, which have two dedicated channels for uploads and downloads. (See Defining 4G: What the Heck Is LTE TDD?.)

The domestic vendors for the 4G deployment are Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763). China Mobile claims to now have 30 million people on the new service, which initially launched in December 2013. (See China Mobile Adds 9M 4G Customers in August.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

DanJones 10/15/2014 | 1:19:39 PM
Re: Well-timed They're claiming 30M for the new 4G service alone. Its a drop in a bucket compared to their overall 2G and 3G subs.
Ariella 10/15/2014 | 10:38:58 AM
Re: Well-timed @nasimon I see. Thanks for the added context.
nasimson 10/14/2014 | 10:21:19 PM
Re: Well-timed @ Ariella:

30 million customer base is enviable, but not very uncommon among Asian operators. Telenor, for example, has 36 million base in Pakistan and over 50 million base in Bangladesh. Vimpelcom has 38 million base in Pakistan.

Asia adds numbers in subscriber base but not so much in ARPU (average revenue per user) and revenue. That comes from Europe, North Ameria and under-developed markets like Myanmar.
danielcawrey 10/13/2014 | 8:58:19 PM
Re: Chinese prefer Chinese - not all the time It is interesting to see how few people in China are using 4G – I suppose they don't need it, or what is more likely is that they do not want to pay for it.

Because the rollout is still ongoing, I bet the cost for 4G service on the mainland is out of reach for most Chinese consumers. But maybe this deal with Nokia will change that, over time. 
Ariella 10/13/2014 | 2:37:20 PM
Re: Well-timed 30 million is a most enviable customer base.
R Clark 10/11/2014 | 5:05:10 AM
Well-timed Nice timing, just as the EU and China settle their dispute over state support for Huawei and ZTE.
nasimson 10/11/2014 | 12:05:15 AM
Chinese prefer Chinese - not all the time I'm actually a little surprised to see Nokia winning a deal in mainland China. I had thought that Huawei and ZTE had drived everyone else out. And that Chinese Telcos prefer Chinese vendors. Appears it is not totally the case.
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