Chinese firms win huge 4G contracts

Western comms makers were snubbed as China Mobile picked Huawei and ZTE to upgrade its systems to 4G.

Telco equipment makers were fighting to get more than $3.2 billion of contracts with China Telecom. However it looks like the decision was to buy local.

According to Reuters, Chinese firms secured more than half of the biggest prize in the global telecoms industry this year and foreign firms winning about a third, industry sources said.

Ericsson and Huawei had been hoping that China Mobile’s 4G contract would lift the fortunes of an industry that has been hit by a lack of spending worldwide.

China Mobile has more than 700 million mobile customers and is the world’s largest by subscriber.

Huawei and ZTE have scored 25 percent each of the total 4G procurement in China Mobile’s tender this year.

European vendors Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) have obtained a share of around 10 percent each.

So far 4G investments in Japan and Korea favoured Ericsson and NSN. Those in the United States went largely to Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent. Huawei won a chunk of Europe’s 4G contracts last year.

China Mobile wants to build more than 200,000 base stations this year alone.