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NSN Gets Aggressive in China

Ray Le Maistre
7/19/2013

Nokia Siemens Networks has stirred the RFP pot in China by undercutting local vendors Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. in the massive China Mobile Ltd. LTE TDD radio access network equipment tender, writes Light Reading contributing editor Robert Clark in his Electric Speech blog.

As previously reported, China Mobile recently issued a tender for 207,000 4G base stations to be deployed across 100 cities, and Huawei was confident of picking up the lion's share of the business. (See Huawei Has Its Eyes on the 4G Prize and China Mobile Delays Key 4G Tender.)

But, as Clark notes, NSN has surprised everyone by submitting the lowest bid, a move that would normally secure it the biggest single contract award. But will it work out that way?

For the full details, see Lowest bid: NSN surprises in China 4G tender.

What makes it even more interesting is that NSN has been slowly but surely improving its financial health by focusing on profitable business and even exiting deals that don't deliver decent (or any) margins. Undercutting Huawei and ZTE in China suggests strongly that NSN has decided, on this occasion, that scale, 4G market share and a very credible LTE TDD deployment reference is worth having even at a very low cost per unit. (See NSN: The Recovery Looks Real.)

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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Ray Le Maistre
Ray Le Maistre
7/19/2013 | 3:41:32 PM
re: NSN Gets Aggressive in China
Of course, there's a chance that NSN was also surprised to find itself as the lowest bidder.... the Chinese players are not low-balling in quite the same cavalier fashion as they used to, I understand (esp after ZTE had a few dodgy quarters...) It's still hard to imagine that Huawei and ZTE won't end up with a hefty chunk each. The big losers could be Ericsson and AlcaLu.
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