Russian operator Yota, which is building a nationwide wholesale LTE network that will be used by the country's major operators, has reportedly put Huawei and Samsung at the top of its list for LTE infrastructure contracts.
Yota is expected to contact the two vendors about forming a joint venture to manufacture LTE equipment locally. Huawei and Samsung are already main suppliers of WiMAX base stations to Yota, which last summer announced a flip from WiMAX to LTE.
"We will talk to Samsung, Huawei and other companies on a potential joint venture that would produce the equipment for 4G networks in Russia," Sergei Chemezov, chief of Russian conglomerate Rostekhnologii, which owns 25 percent of Yota, 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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