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ZTE wins a chunk of China Mobile’s 5G core work

Chinese kit vendor ZTE has won the bid for a bunch of work on the standalone 5G core of China Mobile.

Any deal win with China Mobile is significant as it’s the world’s largest mobile operator. It is generally expected that the majority of any such work will be given to Chinese vendors, as that’s the way things seems to be done over there. Most recently China Mobile awarded 86% of its 5G RAN work to Chinese vendors, with ZTE getting around 30% of the work.

It’s hard to work out precisely how big a piece of the 5G core pie ZTE has got, because the English language press release seems to have just been put through Google Translate, but it looks like ZTE did a bit bet in the core than it did the RAN.

“For the public-oriented network, ZTE has won the bid of 12 provinces in six regions, and secured the bid for 35% shares in 31 provinces in China for the industry-oriented network,” said the press release. “This well demonstrates the company’s industry-leading strength in the 5G SA core network.”

We also got a rare update on ZTE’s global 5G deal wins. “To date, ZTE has obtained 46 commercial 5G contracts in major markets, such as Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (MEA),” we’re told. “ZTE commits 10 percent of its annual revenues to research and development and takes leadership roles in international standard development organizations.”

That number still puts ZTE well behind Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia. But is still a decent tally. Huawei doesn’t seem to have made any announcements regarding its share of Shina Mobile’s 5G core work, but it seems safe to assume it got most of the remainder.

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