Huawei and Samsung appear to be leading the race to become infrastructure suppliers to build the wholesale LTE network announced last week by the Russian operator Yota.
Yota, which is 25-per cent owned by state-run conglomerate Rostekhnologii, is going to contact the two vendors about forming a joint venture to manufacture LTE equipment locally. Other equipment vendors are also thought to be under consideration. Huawei and Samsung are already the main suppliers of base stations to Yota.
"We will talk to Samsung, Huawei and other companies on a potential joint venture that would produce the equipment for 4G networks in Russia," Rostekhnologii's chief, Sergei Chemezov, said in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires. The executive indicated that the company would provide up to half of the financing, with the equipment being produced in one of the 80 factories operated by its Ruselectronics subsidiary.
Yota has said that it planned to invest around $2 billion between 2011 and 2014 to roll out the 180-city LTE network using over 6,000 base stations. Separately, Taiwan-based suppliers which have established supply links with Yota for WiMAX devices, are now reported to have started to ship LTE terminal devices to the company.
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