ZTE pens deal with Linkem to deploy 'top-down' LTE-A network in Rome

BARCELONA, Spain -- Linkem, an Italian fixed wireless broadband service provider partnered with ZTE to roll out an LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network running on licensed 3.5GHz spectrum.

The Chinese vendor announced the partnership at the Mobile World Congress, here, today. ZTE said the companies will initially focus on deploying LTE-A technology in Rome, and that the network will be the first ultra-broadband fixed wireless network in the Italian capital.

Once completed, the network will also be one of the largest single city fixed wireless deployments using 3.5GHz spectrum globally, ZTE explained in a statement.

Crucially, in terms of Rome's historic architecture and archaeology, the network will be deployed "from high up", meaning no digging will be required to install the infrastructure. Instead, antennas for the LTE-A network will be placed on existing sites run by Italian mobile operators, ZTE said.

Hu Kun, head of ZTE Italy, said the "ground breaking" LTE-A rollout in Rome "is one of the major milestones in Europe".

The Chinese vendor stated that Linkem's proprietary portfolio of dedicated spectrum has enabled the operator to deploy ultra-broadband infrastructure at a fraction of the cost of a comparable fibre network.

Linkem CEO Davide Rota said the LTE-A network is an important step towards meeting government goals regarding the availability of high speed broadband access.

"High speed ultra-broadband connections, affordable pricing, fast delivery times, no invasive infrastructural installations: this is Linkem's contribution to the 2020 targets set by the Italian government for its Digital Agenda," Rota said.

The Linkem CEO added that it aims to leverage the partnership with ZTE to "further demonstrate that fixed wireless ultra-broadband solutions can successfully compete against offer from other wireline operators in all parts of Italy, including the largest cities."

ZTE separately announced a partnership with TeliaSonera covering the Internet of Things. The duo will initially focus on telematics in a bid to tap into the nascent connected car market, ZTE stated.

For more:
- see ZTE's Linkem announcement
- view this related TeliaSonera release

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