In a deal reported to be worth DNK4 billion ($727 million) over six years, China’s Huawei is to supply and manage the mobile network of Denmark’s TDC – including 4G – from March 2014.

It’s a major blow for Ericsson as it used to supply equipment and provide managed services for the Danish operator.

“This is a milestone for Huawei in Denmark,” said Jim Lu, Huawei’s head of Central Eastern Europe and the Nordics.

The Chinese supplier is to replace TDC’s existing base stations, and will add 200 new employees to its Danish operations.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Ericsson used to manage TDC’s network from Romania, but Huawei plans to set up a network operating centre in Denmark.

The TDC announcement comes shortly after senior Huawei executives told reporters in a briefing on Wednesday (18 September) that the Chinese firm expects to rake in more than $2 billion in 4G sales this year as operators in China and Europe expand their networks.

Bob Cai, vice president for Huawei’s wireless marketing – quoted by Reuters – said that Huawei’s LTE revenues were insignificant last year, but grew quickly to $1 billion in the first half of the year.

According to data from research firm IHS iSuppli, cited by Reuters, LTE infrastructure spending will nearly triple to $24.3 billion in 2013 from $8.7 billion in 2012, fuelled by growth in China, Japan and Europe.

So far, Huawei and Ericsson have a combined share of 74 per cent of the 4G market, Huawei executives said, using estimates from research firm Informa.

ABI Research reckons Huawei took a 31.1 per cent share of the Radio Access Network (RAN) market in Q2 2013, an improvement of 7.2 points (from Q1 2013) that was sufficient to overtake Ericsson and grab number one position during the quarter.

Ericsson, according to ABI figures, had a 23.4 per cent share of the RAN market in Q2 2013, followed by NSN (15.9 per cent), Alcatel-Lucent (14.3 per cent) and Samsung (6.7 per cent).