Chinese equipment vendor ZTE Corporation has won a contract to install GSM/W-CDMA equipment from Uzbeki cellco Ucell (formerly Coscom), a 74%-owned subsidiary of TeliaSonera of Sweden. ZTE will manage the construction and expansion of the 2G/3G network including replacement of existing 2G equipment. ‘The TeliaSonera Ucell 2G/3G project adds to the growing number of world class operators using ZTE’s UMTS equipment in highly competitive markets,’ said Zeng Li, president of ZTE CIS.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database soon after TeliaSonera’s acquisition of Coscom, in November 2007 Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) was awarded a two-year contract valued at USD152 million for the replacement of the legacy Coscom network, and expansion beyond the old network both in terms of coverage and capacity. In June 2008 Coscom announced that it had switched to the new brand of Ucell, a move which it said underscores its Uzbeki heritage but also fits in with the Swedish company’s branding elsewhere. In September 2008 NSN announced that it had rolled out a trial W-CDMA/HSPA network in Tashkent and Samarkand. The NSN solution permits theoretical download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps and upload speeds of 1.4Mbps, enabling services such as video calling, mobile TV, video on demand and high speed internet access. 3G was launched commercially in February the following year in the two cities.