Taiwan incumbent carrier Chungwha Telecom has selected Nokia Solutions & Networks (NSN) to build its 4G LTE network that is targeted for launch next year.
Under the contract, NSN will implement an LTE Radio Access Network with its Flexi Multiradio Base Stations. Chunghwa Telecom will also expand its 3G network nationwide – a move NSN says will enable smooth 3G and LTE interworking.
NSN will also enable voice services for LTE smartphone users with its circuit-switched fallback (CSFB) technology, which allows an LTE handset to “fall back" to the 3G network to complete circuit-switched calls and SMS alongside LTE mobile broadband data services.
The deal also includes network planning and optimization, system integration, technical consultancy and care services. The operations support system will be based on NSN’s cloud-ready NetAct platform for efficient and flexible network operations, NSN said.
Chungwha Telecom, which has more than 10 million mobile subscribers, is one of the six winners of Taiwan’s LTE spectrum auction in October. The operator paid nearly NT$39.1 billion ($1.3 billion) on spectrum in both 900-MHz (2x10-Mhz) and 1800-MHz (2x25-Mhz) bands.
The company has indicated that it expects to launch commercial 4G services in the second half of 2014, and plans to spend up to NT$40 billion on deploying more than 7,000 base stations to cover at least 96% of the population over the next five years.
“We are launching the LTE network to meet the ever-increasing subscriber expectations for fast-speed mobile broadband. Having a reliable vendor with an excellent track record to support our ambitious rollout target is crucial for us," said Kuo-Feng Lin, president, mobile business group at Chunghwa Telecom.
“Our successful collaboration with NSN dates back almost 15 years, starting in 1999 with the deployment of our 2G GPRS core network and evolving over the years to 3G and now 4G."