The International Herald Tribune is reporting that China’s largest telecoms equipment vendor ZTE has won an order from China Mobile to roll out a TD-SCDMA-based 3G network. ZTE is reported to have clinched orders worth about CNY3.2 billion (USD414 million), although the vendor has said negotiations have still to be completed and did not specify the size of its order.
China Mobile’s contracts are a sign that China is finally inching towards the introduction of 3G wireless services; the government has always maintained that they will be available for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, although it has been notoriously tight-lipped in providing a more specific timeframe. China Mobile began accepting bids from potential TD-SCDMA suppliers last month, according to the TD-SCDMA Forum’s secretary general, Chen Haofei. ZTE is widely expected to be the largest supplier of the equipment, with Huawei predicted to be a close second. Nokia, Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Shanghai Bell, Datang Telecom Technology & Industry Group and TD Tech, a venture between Siemens Communications Group and Huawei, are also reported to have submitted bids to supply equipment to China Mobile Communications, the TD-SCDMA Forum’s Chen said.