ZTE is to take a more substantial role in the LTE expansion of KPN's German operation E-Plus.
E-Plus has been working with ZTE on the expansion of its 3G network, and more recently with the modernisation of its core network and the operator's current LTE field trials, according to a ZTE statement.
The two firms have now announced that this co-operation will be expanded to include the deployment of the first phase of E-Plus' LTE network. This move will see ZTE supplying base stations and its evolved packet core, and lead to the Chinese vendor becoming the operator's primary partner in deploying the network using the existing HSPA+ grid for LTE at 1800 MHz.
"This year E-Plus will launch a demand-driven LTE expansion under the motto Smart LTE. This will continue our user-oriented and economically targeted network expansion strategy," said E-Plus' CTO Andreas Pfisterer. "The achievements of recent years have shown that ZTE is a suitable partner to pursue this strategy efficiently and successfully, for both the customer and the company."
ZTE said the agreement with E-Plus, which started in 2009, was a further milestone in the partnership between the two firms. "This collaboration has a strategic role for both E-Plus and ZTE in Europe--and also with respect to the market position of both companies," said ZTE General Manager for the Netherlands Li Jun in a statement.
E-Plus has provided no details of which cities or regions will be first to benefit from the operator's new LTE service, or when it will launch, according to Teltarif.de.
However, E-Plus is recognised within Germany as offering discounted deals below the price points of its main rivals. Concerns have been raised that E-Plus will upset the market by launching cut-price LTE offers to attract customers away from Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone, the two leading LTE service providers in Germany.
- see this ZTE release
- see this Teltarif.de article (translated via Google Translate)
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