China’s ZTE Corporation and new Canadian cellular operator Public Mobile, which launched commercial CDMA2000-based services in Toronto last month, have announced an agreement to build out a CDMA network aimed at providing mobile services to 19 million potential customers across Ontario and Quebec. ZTE is partnering with Public Mobile to design, build and operate the end-to-end CDMA2000 1x network including wireless, core network, service platforms and IP architecture, which is also being designed with an eye on future implementation of Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband services via the cellco’s participation in planned upcoming spectrum auctions. ZTE is also supplying Public Mobile with handsets. As part of the agreement, ZTE is deploying over 1,000 base stations for the network, as well as what it calls the industry’s first CDMA 5+5MHz-based customised solution for personalised communications systems (PCS) on the extended ‘G block’ frequency band (part of Canada’s 1900MHz spectrum range). Public Mobile’s CEO Alek Krstajic said of the deal: ‘[ZTE’s] extensive real-world experience and ability to smoothly evolve networks to LTE was very compelling for Public Mobile’s future growth.’ Public Mobile has launched no-frills, cost-conscious tariffs, aimed at city dwellers, with no data services nor roaming facilities as yet, and following its recent launch in Toronto, Montreal is the next city scheduled to receive network coverage on 25 June.