Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) confirmed it won a chunk of China Mobile's major TD-LTE network expansion, as had been previously reported. The vendor also confirmed it won 11 percent of the total contract, in line with prior reported estimates.
For Alcatel-Lucent, the win is a significant one as it looks to stabilize its business. The gear vendor is looking to become more of a specialist by focusing on several core areas in IP networking, and in wireless it will put more emphasis on LTE and small cells and move away from investing in legacy technologies.
Alcatel-Lucent said China Mobile, the world's largest operator by subscribers, chose its lightRadio TD-LTE overlay. The vendor said it won 11 percent of the contract to deploy more than 207,000 TD-LTE base stations in China by the end of 2013. Alcatel-Lucent noted that it has been closely involved with China Mobile in developing TD-LTE from the inception of the technology, and successfully demonstrated a call using the platform more than five years ago and HD video delivery three years ago.
The TD-LTE contract is believed to be worth around $3.27 billion. In a post on its website earlier this month, China Mobile said it had selected nine vendors, including leading European-based equipment manufacturers Ericsson, Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN), and Alcatel-Lucent (through Shanghai Bell Alcatel-Lucent), along with six domestic vendors including Huawei, ZTE, Datang Mobile, Wuhan-based FiberHome Technologies, Potevio and New Postcom Equipment Company.
Reuters recently reported that Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), Alcatel-Lucent and NSN had each scored around 10 percent of the contract, while Huawei and ZTE had been awarded around 25-26 percent each.
Meanwhile, various local media reports over the weekend indicated that China Mobile has started selling TD-LTE smartphones. State-run news service Xinhua reported on Saturday that China Mobile is now selling the smartphones in three cities in Zhejiang Province. Four models, made by Samsung, Sony, ZTE and Coolpad, were made available in Hangzhou, Ningbo and Wenzhou. China Mobile's TD-LTE push is expected to spur further development of the TD-LTE ecosystem due to its size.
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