Mobile carrier Orange has reached preliminary agreements with three telecom equipment suppliers to build out part of its European third-generation
The subsidiary of France Telecom said it has chosen Alcatel
, Nortel Networks
for gear and services associated with the upgrade.
Details will be released shortly.
The vendors, mindful that the pacts are non-binding, confirmed their selection, but offered little more.
“The agreement with Orange is a “framework” agreement with deployment schedules, market allocations and volume levels still to be determined,” Nortel said in a statement.
For Nortel, it’s the second big 3G deal this month. Earlier, the Canadian company announced that it will supply Verizon Wireless
with $1 billion worth of infrastructure for the carrier’s backbone upgrade.
Even though the Orange contract specifics are unknown, the deals are considered significant — both in terms of revenue and as further proof that service providers are loosening their purse-strings for 3G after two years of caution.
Greatly expected to usher in an era of new, high-tech communication, 3G has yet to catch fire and ignite to be the revenue monster industry analysts anticipated it would be a few years ago.
But there are signs that the technology is gaining momentum — particularly in Japan, where wireless services are perhaps most popular and advanced, according to market research firm IDC.