Telefonica Spain selects ZTE for giant WiMAX deployment

While few details have been released, it has emerged that Spain's Telefonica has placed a contract with ZTE to build a WiMAX network. The contract value, while not disclosed, is said to be the largest won by ZTE from a European telecoms operator.

The deal, which will see the Telefonica subsidiary Iberbanda operate the network, comes after the Spanish operator had selected Israel's Alvarion in May 2009 to expand its WiMAX network in Catalonia. This latest award to ZTE does not make clear when or where the deployment will take place, or if it involves cooperation with Alvarion. However, it would appear that ZTE and Alvarion are working together on the Spanish WiMAX contract for Clearwire announced some weeks ago.

ZTE is also one of the equipment vendors selected by Telefonica for its LTE trials in six European countries.

A recent study conducted by Infonetics stated that the WiMAX equipment and device market is on the upswing, posting its second quarterly double-digit per cent increase in a row in the third quarter, driven by revenue growth in all regions.

The market research firm claimed that the EMEA region--led by Russia, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific--is the hotbed of WiMAX activity.

"We expect steady growth in the market over the next four quarters as the WiMAX ecosystem continues to take shape and more devices hit the market, driving adoption through the recession," said Richard Webb, Infonetics Research's directing analyst for WiMAX. "Operators such as Yota in Russia and P1 in Malaysia are producing notable successes, and Clearwire posted encouraging results recently, so WiMAX has solid operator proof-points to demonstrate its viability"

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