Ericsson, Nokia Score GSM Deals in Asia

Nordic mobile telephony giants L.M. Ericsson Telephone and Nokia announced Wednesday that they have signed deals valued at $US476 million to supply network equipment to service providers in China and the Philippines.

Espoo, Finland-based Nokia said in a statement that it will supply and install $US300 million worth of equipment for Philippine operator Smart Communications Inc.'s planned expansion of its nationwide GSM (global system for mobile communications) network.

Enabling Smart to ready the rollout of fast mobile Internet services, the equipment, including mobile switches and base stations, will be ready to support forthcoming third-generation wireless technologies such as EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) and WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access.

Under the terms of an agreement, Nokia, which already has supplied Smart with its core packet-switched GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) network equipment, will also supply upgrades for additional GPRS capability.

Stockholm-based Ericsson, meanwhile, said that it has signed contracts valued at $US176 million to supply equipment for the expansion of five provincial 900MHz GSM networks operated by China United Telecommunications Co. (China Unicom).

Scheduled to be completed by year's end, the expansion projects will result in the total capacity of the networks in the Chinese provinces of Jilin, Sichuan, Jiangsu, Anhui and Hubei to jump to 3.83 million subscribers, Ericsson said in a statement..

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