Chinese equipment vendor Huawei has been identified as the sole supplier of LTE base stations for EE’s network in the UK. The revelation gives context to the firm’s decision to make a £1.3bn R&D investment in the country.
At the unveiling of EE’s LTE plan earlier this week, the UK operator revealed it has made an investment of £1.5bn in its network, marking a greater commitment to LTE than its rivals. LTE has already been switched on in London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol for testing purposes and commercial LTE services are set to be lit up in 16 cities in the UK before Christmas.
With EE indicating that 70 per cent of the country will be covered by the end of 2013, and 98 per cent by the end of 2014, Huawei looks like it has got itself a significant deal.
The Chinese infrastructure vendor has pledged to create 700 more jobs in the country by 2017 and will build ten global centres of technical and financial excellence, including group-wide research and development facilities.
Given the traffic boost LTE is expected to introduce, there are also good opportunities for providers of backbone and backhaul connectivity. In EE’s case, the main suppliers of Gigabit Ethernet connectivity have been identified as BT and Virgin Media.