Ericsson received a boost after winning a €600 million deal to supply mobile equipment to Italian operator Wind Tre, in yet another setback to Chinese vendor ZTE which was originally awarded the bulk of the contract.

Sources cited by Bloomberg said ZTE lost part of the deal after it was barred by the US government from buying technology from the country for seven years.

While the Chinese vendor subsequently agreed a deal with the US to have the ban lifted, it appears to have come too late to save its deal with Wind Tre.

ZTE was selected to provide mobile equipment in a €1 billion contract by Veon (then known as VimpelCom) and CK Hutchison, after they merged their Italian operations in 2016 to create Wind Tre.

At the time, Ericsson was also in the running for the contract, but missed out, as did Huawei and Nokia.

However – two years on – Ericsson has eventually got the nod. It reportedly signed a multi-year deal last month to provide base stations for around 60 per cent of Wind Tre’s mobile network, which will include installation and bringing the equipment online.

Yesterday, CK Hutchison announced it would take full ownership of Wind Tre in a €2.45 billion deal covering the acquisition of the 50 per cent of the operator it does not already own.

Temporary reprieve
In a separate development, ZTE was granted a temporary reprieve by the US government to maintain networks and equipment, as it continues to take steps to have the ban lifted. The deal, agreed by the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security unit, covers the period from 2 July until 1 August.

ZTE was forced to cease major operations following the US import ban, causing havoc to its business and it has been taking steps in recent weeks to adhere to US demands as part of a settlement agreement.

This week, the Chinese vendor overhauled its board and management and appointed a new chairman.