Ericsson wins $400M network contracts in China

L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co. will build or upgrade fixed and mobile telecommunications networks in Beijing and the provinces of Shandong, Hebei and Yunnan under a series of contracts worth US$400 million, Ericsson announced Thursday.

Ericsson will supply IP (Internet Protocol) backbone routers to China Telecommunications (Group) Corp. (China Telecom) for that company's second data communications expansion project, and similar equipment to Shandong Telecom for an inter-city broadband network in that province.

Ericsson will also supply GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) radio and switching infrastructure elements, prepaid systems, network planning and operational support services to Shandong Mobile.

Ericsson will supply switching and radio equipment for Hebei Mobile's expansion and upgrade project, adding GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and Mobile IN (Intelligent Network) features.

Ericsson has signed further GSM expansion projects with Yunnan Unicom, Hubei Mobile, Chongqing Mobile, Jiangsu Mobile and Xinjiang Mobile, the company said.

The contracts will be carried out by Beijing Ericsson Mobile Communications Co. Ltd. and Nanjing Ericsson Panda Communications Co. Ltd., Ericsson's two major joint venture companies in China, according to the statement.

China's GSM market is the largest in the world, with 73.3 million subscribers at the end of 2000, according to research company Informa Group PLC. It is also one of the fastest-growing, increasing subscribers by 68 percent from 43.5 million at the beginning of 2000.

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