Norway's Telenor awards Huawei LTE contract

In a blow to incumbent infrastructure providers Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks, Norway's Telenor has granted Europe's biggest LTE contract to date to China's Huawei.

The deal, valued at $175.4 million over over the next six years, calls for Telenor's existing Ericsson and NSN network equipment to be merged into the new infrastructure provided by Huawei. The contract will see the delivery of equipment across technology generations and frequency bands, as well as base stations for 2G, UMTS and LTE. The change of providers will also include a packet core component supplied by Starent Networks, which was acquired by Cisco Systems last month in a $2.9 billion deal.

Ragnar Kaarhus, head of Telenor Norway, said the deal would involve the largest upgrade of the mobile network in Norway that has ever been carried out. He attributed the choice of Huawei to "a combination of technical quality, reliability ... and commercial terms."

"This deal is hugely significant in the grand scheme of things. Remarkably, Telenor has chosen to replace Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks with non-Scandinavian network partners," said analyst Paolo Pescatore from CCS Insight.

Interestingly, Huawei is also supplying a commercial network to competitor NetCom, TeliaSonera's Norwegian operator, in Oslo.

For more:
- see this Financial Times article
- read this Telegeography article
- take a look at this Reuters article

Related articles:
TeliaSonera hands out industry's first commercial LTE contracts
Cisco snaps up Starent for premium price
Huawei makes play for LTE patent leadership
LTE: Vodafone links with Huawei for LTE tests

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