Optimus saves 50% by going with ZTE's SDR/LTE kit

Hard on the heels of its first European LTE deal with Pannon in Hungary, ZTE has agreed to a deal with Portugal's third largest operator, Optimus, to deploy a software defined radio (SDR) multi-mode platform, enabling the operator to upgrade its 2G/3G network while providing an evolution path to LTE.

Optimus, which claims it is saving 50 per cent over its incumbent 3G suppliers--Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks--said it would use the ZTE SDR equipment to replace its current mobile infrastructure in four regions of central Portugal and, if the results are good, it would expand the initiative to other areas and start to plot its course to LTE.

"The choice of ZTE's uni-RAN solution for central Portugal will allow not only the modernisation of existing infrastructure but also the preparation for future LTE developments, helping us to stay ahead of competition," said Jose Pinto Correia, an executive board member of Optimus. The operator already has a close relationship with ZTE for the supply of smartphones.

The Chinese vendor, along with the Hong Kong-based operator CSL, made news at last week's MWC with the announcement that it had achieved LTE download speeds of over 70Mbps using a laptop and dongle in the streets of Hong Kong. CSL has built a LTE trial network using 20 LTE SDR base stations supplied by ZTE.

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