ZTE heads into 4G with LTE trials

Fast-growing Chinese vendor ZTE will supply equipment for LTE trials with two tier-one operators this year.

It will deliver LTE gear to a major Asia-Pacific operator for a field trial in Q3, ZTE wireless marketing director Richard Ye has revealed to Telecom Asia at the CommunicAsia trade show.

Ye said he could not name the operators, but said ZTE was already preparing to deliver equipment to a European carrier for a “pre-commercial trial”.

It is a major breakthrough for the firm, which like cross-town rival Huawei Technologies has grown rapidly selling gear to emerging carriers but has secured only a handful of tier-one players as customers.

To help it win business ZTE has lined up a whopping $25 billion in credit facilities from Chinese state-owned banks in the past three months.

Ye said it was part of the Chinese government's stimulus program, to help nominated firms, like ZTE, to win export contracts during the recession.

Ye said the supporting banks - the ExIm Bank and the China Development Bank - hoped “to help investment, and telecommunications is one industry which is very healthy.”

“They felt some operators might be in need of some cash funds.”

“We were afraid that investment in some countries would be too low, so to stimulate investment, and to help them keep growing, we have these kinds of funds.”

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