Portugal goes WiMAX; ZTE selected for €30m project

The Portuguese wireless broadband operator Zapp.pt has chosen ZTE to supply it with a WiMAX network to enable the company to compete more effectively with Vodafone Portugal, TMN and Optimus for broadband subscribers.

The company, which already operates a 450MHz CDMA network, said that the deal would also include ZTE upgrading the network from CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev. A to Rev. B technology.

The contract, valued at €30 million, will enable Zapp to launch WiMAX broadband services in Lisbon, Porto and other selected cities across Portugal by July 2011. The company currently claims to offer wireless broadband services using its CDMA 450MHz network covering some of the remotest regions of Portugal. However, observers believe that Zapp's current data offering has attracted only a small number of subscribers compared with the competitive GSM and 3G services from larger operators.

Zapp, which is registered as Radiomovel Telecomunicacoes, is part of the Saudi Oger Group, which has several other interests in the telecoms sector worldwide, including Turk Telekom and Avea in Turkey, and Cell C in South Africa.

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