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Lucent Still Ringing Up China Orders

Strengthening its foothold in China, Lucent Technologies has secured a follow-on contract from mobile carrier Guangdong Unicom worth nearly $100 million.

The telecom equipment maker's base stations and services will be used in the third phase of the carrier's code-division multiple access network. CDMA is a digital cellular technology that uses spread-spectrum technologies.

Once completed, this portion of the project will boost capacity and coverage in eight cities, allowing Guangdong Unicom to offer video-on-demand, live streaming video and high-speed mobile Internet access.

What's more, the infrastructure is designed to be easily upgraded to third-generation cellular technology, so current investments won't be wasted.

Lucent was also the primary supplier for the first two phases of Guangdong Unicom's rollout, and the relationship dates back several years.

Ichiro Kawasaki, a Lucent spokesman, told internetnews.com that Guangdong Unicom will continue to enhance and expand its network as needed.

While no formal agreements for future work have been made, Lucent obviously has a working relationship with the Guangdong Unicom, a subsidiary of China Unicom, one of the country's largest carriers.

The deal is the latest for Lucent, which, like other networking sector giants, has invested heavily in the populous country. The companies believe the market is ripe for mobile equipment since the country lacks significant wireline systems outside of major cities.

Lucent China has eight regional offices, two Bell Labs branches, four R&D facilities and a number of joint ventures and wholly owned enterprises.

Currently, the company has approximately 3,000 employees in China. It manufactures a range of network equipment for use there and around the world.