China Mobile has selected Nortel Networks to expand and optimize its GSM digital wireless network in Hebei province under an agreement estimated at US$46 million.
The agreement covers the first stage of the latest Hebei expansion for China Mobile, the world's largest GSM carrier based on number of subscribers. Hebei Mobile, China Mobile's provincial affiliate, plans to use this expansion to offer advanced new wireless services that are expected to help drive new revenue opportunities. The expansion will also position Hebei Mobile to optimize its network to enable reduced operating costs.
When completed, the expansion is expected to increase Hebei Mobile's subscriber capacity by approximately 880,000. It is also expected to provide Hebei Mobile with a smooth migration path to third generation (3G) networks. The expansion agreement calls for Nortel Networks to provide Hebei Mobile with network infrastructure, software upgrades and support services. Nortel Networks deployed the first GSM network for Hebei Mobile in 1995, and has developed a strong business relationship over a series of expansions since then. Nortel Networks has deployed wireless networks in 17 of China's 31 provinces and municipalities. This includes GSM digital infrastructure equipment for China Mobile in the provinces of Hebei, Shaanxi, Tianjin, Xinjiang, Guizhou, Anhui, Liaoning, and Hunan. Nortel Networks has deployed more than 100 GSM/GPRS networks in 50 countries. It is supplying GSM/GPRS systems to more than 50 operators around the world, providing each with a platform for seamless future migration to 3G. Nortel Networks is the industry's only supplier with Wireless Networks operating in all three advanced technologies – GPRS/EDGE, CDMA2000 1xEV-DO, and UMTS.