Nokia Networks signed a framework agreement worth $970 million (€765 million) with China Mobile that will see the Finland-based company provide TD-LTE equipment to support the further rollout of the Chinese operator's domestic mobile network.
Under the terms of the agreement, which was signed at the Sino-German Economic Forum in Berlin last week, Nokia Networks is providing its TD-LTE technology including Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and GSM wireless networking equipment, core application platforms, OSS, software and services to support China Mobile's '4G' wireless broadband network rollout in 2014 and 2015. Deliveries under the agreement commenced in the first quarter of this year.
"This contract marks another milestone in the strategic partnership between China Mobile and Nokia Networks. We have been closely cooperating throughout the past years to jointly commercialise and globalise TD-LTE, and this agreement will further accelerate 4G TD-LTE development in China as well as worldwide," said Markus Borchert, president of the Greater China region at Nokia Networks.
China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator, has so far deployed 500,000 4G base stations and aims to build the world's largest TD-LTE network by the end of 2014.
This latest Nokia Networks deal continues to highlight that Asia Pacific is an increasingly important market for European vendors as domestic growth stagnates, and competition from Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE increases.
In 2013, Nokia Networks and Ericsson each won TD-LTE rollout deals with China Telecom and China Mobile, while Alcatel-Lucent became one of three vendors picked to deploy TD-LTE and FDD-LTE networks for China Telecom, and picked up a TD-LTE supply deal with China Mobile.
Nokia also boasted that it has now established a complete TD-LTE value chain in China, including TD product headquarters, product design, R&D, testing, manufacturing, procurement, sales and marketing.
In May, Infonetics Research noted that massive rollouts of LTE networks in China as well as network upgrades by operators across the European Union are set to increase operators' total capital expenditure by 4 per cent to $354 billion by the end of 2014.
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