RealTime IT News

Motorola Tallies $80M China Deal

In recent years, telecom equipment makers have invested heavily in China, reaching out to carriers and government officials and opening research centers and sales offices across the country.

And while the bonanza predicted the late 1990s hasn't materialized in the market (or any other for that matter), some significant orders are starting to come in.

The latest beneficiary is Motorola. The company's equipment division has won an $80 million contract from China Unicom for base stations, network optimization and training to expand a Code Division Multiple Access mobile network.

Motorola's architecture builds upon existing 2G or 2.5G networks, adding packet-based network elements. For this project, the elements include the access node from Cisco Systems, that enables the radio access network to be Internet protocol capable.

When completed later this year, the project will bring high-speed Internet access and advanced services to 2.2 million customers in the cities of Nanjing, Suzhou, WuXi, Changzhou, Nantong and Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province, one of the most developed districts of China.

"(The deal) is a testament to Motorola's CDMA solution and our ability to deliver network solutions that provide value to our customers," Ruey Bin Kao, a Motorola vice president and general manager, said in a statement.

Motorola has had a lucrative relationship with China Unicom, the country's second-largest wireless carrier, since 1995. In May 2001, it signed contracts for CDMA infrastructure with China Unicom worth approximately $407 million. A year later, it added orders for $446 million to expand the network and upgrade to CDMA20001X in the city of Beijing and in 10 provinces.

All of the contracts included network equipment and deployment as well as CDMA network optimization services and technical training.

Other sector heavy-hitters are active in China as well. Last month, Lucent Technologies tallied contracts to provide technical support, management consulting, staff training and network optimization for a subsidiaries of Unicom Horizon Mobile Telecom and China Netcom.

Lucent has eight regional offices, two Bell Labs branches, four research and development facilities and a number of joint ventures and wholly owned enterprises in China. Currently, the company has approximately 3,000 employees there.

China is also home to significant handset manufacturing operations for Motorola and rivals Nokia and Qualcomm, which view the country as attractive both for labor and potential customers.