Cosmote Romania has awarded a contract to build a new LTE network in southern Romania to Chinese equipment manufacturer ZTE, in a deal that will require the construction of more than 3,000 base stations.
According to a statement from ZTE, the overall project also includes the instruction to "transform" the mobile operator's 2G and 3G networks, although little further detail was provided.
For ZTE, the deal represents further progress in the European LTE market, where it is attempting to win deals in the face of strong competition from European rivals as well as China's Huawei. The company said it has so far won 146 commercial LTE/EPC contracts around the world, covering 70 per cent of the countries that have invested in LTE.
Cosmote Romania already offers LTE services to its customers, and holds LTE spectrum in the 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz frequency banks. It competes on the Romanian mobile market with Vodafone Romania and Orange Romania, and offers some of the market's highest inclusive data bundles for smartphones and tablets.
As yet, the operator has provided limited options in the area of value-added services such as inclusive content, shared data plans or converged offerings apart from cross-selling services provided by sister company, fixed-line operator Romtelecom.
However, Cosmote Romania and Romtelecom recently announced that they plan to adopt a single brand for their fixed and mobile services from mid-September, in a move that will better reflect the companies' links to the Deutsche Telekom group and flag the arrival of new, converged offerings on the market.
- see this ZTE release
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