Ericsson has signed two mobile network expansion deals in Sichuan Province, Southwest China, valued at over US$120 million.
The CDMA2000 1X network expansion agreement was reached with Sichuan Unicom, while the GSM network expansion agreement, was entered into with Sichuan Mobile.
Under the agreement with Sichuan Unicom for expansion of its CDMA2000 1X network, Ericsson will provide its end-to-end solution in new low-density areas. In addition, Ericsson will enhance coverage and capacity of existing CDMA2000 1X networks. Deployment of the network equipment has already begun and the commercial service is expected to begin by the end of June 2004.
According to the agreement with Sichuan Mobile, Ericsson will supply hardware as well as software to pave the way for future 3G deployment and to expand the GSM network coverage in the province. The implementation of the contract will be finished at the end of 2004.
In 1996, Ericsson signed the first contract with Sichuan Unicom for deployment of GSM network, and in 2000, Ericsson began to help Sichuan Unicom build its CDMA network. Since then it has become Sichuan Unicom's largest mobile network infrastructure provider both for CDMA2000 1X and GSM. Ericsson started its cooperation with Sichuan Mobile in 1993, when Ericsson helped deploy a TACS network in the province. In 1997, Ericsson began to provide Sichuan Mobile the GSM network equipment, and it is now the largest GSM equipment supplier of Sichuan Mobile.