China-headquartered ZTE is on the cusp of winning a €1 billion contract to upgrade the mobile networks for Italy’s recently created joint venture between Wind and 3 Italia, Reuters reported.

According to a source ZTE received notification it is the winning bidder, although no official deal is yet in place. It is also unclear which other companies were in the running for the contract.

3 Italia, owned by Hong Kong’s Hutchison, and VimpelCom-owned Wind closed a deal to merge their local units in Italy in November – a tie-up that creates the country’s largest operator.

The companies’ aim to launch joint services next month.

For ZTE, securing a €1 billion contract in Europe would be a big win, with rivals struggling for business in the region amid slowing infrastructure sales.

Ericsson’s struggles are well documented, while Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri in November warned the vendor is likely to see revenues fall 2.2 per cent year-on-year in 2017. ZTE’s Chinese rival Huawei, meanwhile, recently stepped up its global efforts.