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ASB gets carrier's contract for 3G

ALCATEL-LUCENT announced yesterday that it has been selected by China Unicom to provide 3G network equipment and related services in 14 provinces, a signal of the telco's faster pace to construct its 3G network.

Under the agreement, Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, the company's joint venture in China, will provide WCDMA (wideband code division multiple access) equipment, including about 11,000 base stations, database system and network maintenance and optimization in 14 provinces, including Hebei, Fujian, Zhejiang and Heilongjiang. The initial network deployments in cities like Tianjin, Baoding, Wenzhou are expected to be completed in May.

ASB will enable the telco to provide its users with 3G mobile services including media streaming, ring-back tones, video sharing and high-speed Internet access.

Ericsson Inc also announced recently that it has secured deals from China Unicom to provide WCDMA equipment in 15 provinces. Chinese telecommunications equipment firms like ZTE and Huawei Techologies have also won WCDMA contracts from China Unicom.

China's investment in 3G has so far totaled 100 billion yuan (US$14.7 billion). The total 3G investment, estimated at 280 billion yuan over two years, will create between 800,000 and 1 million new job opportunities each year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

In the 3G market, Chinese telecom equipment makers, including ZTE Corp, Huawei Technologies and Datang Mobile, snared 70 percent based on sales by the end of February, said CCID Consulting, a Beijing-based research firm.



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