Romanian cellco Cosmote has announced the commercial launch of a HSPA+ 3.5G mobile network in eleven cities, covering around 58% of the population. In early February 2010 Chinese equipment manufacturer ZTE was awarded a contract by Greek-backed Cosmote to deploy HSPA+ infrastructure covering Romania’s largest urban areas. The network is capable of theoretical peak download speeds of 21Mbps, using ZTE’s software-defined radio (SDR) technology which is designed for seamless transition from GSM/UMTS to HSPA+ and, in future, 4G LTE services. The cities covered by Cosmote’s new network are: Bucharest, Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Constanta, Craiova, Galati, Iasi, Moinesti, Oltenita, Orastie, Timisoara, and a total of nearly 300 localities. Cosmote Romania already provided 3G/3.5G mobile broadband services to users of its recent acquisition, Zapp, over both a CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev A 450MHz network and a W-CDMA/HSDPA 2100MHz network covering at least 65 towns and cities (launched by Zapp in mid-2008). In addition, Cosmote announced that it recently upgraded its 2.5G GPRS mobile data network to faster EDGE standard. Elsewhere, in late February the Romanian regulator ANCOM ruled that it would allow cellular operators to expand 3G services using the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands.