ZTE, NSN win European LTE deals

Nordic carrier TeliaSonera continued to spearhead the adoption of LTE, with an announcement on Monday that the company’s Uzbekistan subsidiary, UCell, has constructed a 4G network.

As of June 2010, UCell is the second largest mobile operator in Uzbekistan, with a total of 5.4 million subscriptions, trailing market leader MTS with 7.5 million users. UCell was awarded a 4G license by the government of Uzbekistan in July.

The company contracted Chinese vendor ZTE to deploy its SDR technology and Uni-RAN solution for the LTE network deployment, which UCell claims able to achieve a downloading peak rate of up to 100Mbps.

During tests in the nation’s capital of Tashkent, UCell demonstrated internet access, streaming video, file uploads and downloads, and VoIP.

The choice of ZTE as the infrastructure vendor for this deployment is interesting, given that TeliaSonera has handed out other LTE contracts to Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia Siemens. However, the company has made no bones about the fact that it will go with the cheapest vendor as it sees no technical difference between the offerings.

In related news, NSN has scored a deal with Telefónica O2 Germany to supply a pilot LTE network in Halle, East Germany, with deployment to start in September in the 2.6GHz and 800MHz bands. The network will go into operation by the end of the year.

NSN  will deploy the complete LTE overlay network comprising of Flexi Multiradio Base Stations and the Enhanced Packet Core (EPC) nodes Flexi NG and Flexi NS. The network will provide broadband capacity and coverage in Halle and its suburb Teutschenthal, an area where there is currently limited broadband access. The vendor will also manage and operate the network.

O2 Germany recently won both Digital Dividend (800MHz) and 2.6GHz spectrum licenses to launch nationwide LTE services.

One comment

  1. Avatar Professor Peter Curwen 10/08/2010 @ 10:13 am

    One of the curiousities of 4G is that it is following a totally different pattern to 3G in terms of licensing and roll-out. A lot of the relevant spectrum was handed out for WiMAX (mostly fixed at the time)to operators without 3G mobile licences but they are not in a position to roll out LTE even if the licence is technology neutral. Where the spectrum is still available a 4G licence is being put on offer as across most of Europe but it is something of a surprise that a country somewhat off the beaten track should be amongst the front runners for LTE – UCell is in fact already lagging larger rival MTS. Why is Uzbekistan the world’s testbed for LTE one wonders?

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