Alcatel-Lucent has confirmed that a consortium involving its Chinese arm, Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, and local partner Datang Mobile has been selected by China Mobile for deployment of the mobile operator’s third-phase TD-SCDMA 3G mobile network rollout across 11 provinces. The firm said that the win means the consortium has expanded its TD-SCDMA footprint to 16 of 31 provincial markets in China. The new contract will see it expand into 11 provinces: Guangdong, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shanxi, Anhui, Liaoning, Gansu, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Guizho. In December 2008, Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell and Datang Mobile provided their TD-SCDMA solutions for 11 of the 28 cities covered by the second-phase of China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA network. In a statement, Alcatel-Lucent claimed to be one of China’s top three suppliers for 3G – being present in all three 3G technologies used in the country (CDMA EV-DO, TD-SCDMA, and WCDMA). At the end of April, Alcatel-Lucent signed two framework agreements valued at US$1.7 billion with China Mobile and China Telecom for network deployment in 2009, and is also supplying China Unicom with 3G network solutions in 14 provinces.
According to a Reuters report last week, other big winners in China Mobile’s third-round 3G network expansion tender include local vendors ZTE and Huawei. The tender is reportedly valued at CNY8.6 billion (US$1.26 billion). China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator, said it would buy equipment for its 39,000 base stations in 200 Chinese cities, expanding its network coverage to 70 percent of the country.