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ZTE resumes operations in India after US-ban lift; set for 5G deals

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2018

Chinese telecom gear maker ZTE Corp has resumed its business and operations in India from last week, and is hopeful of recovering the losses that the Indian unit incurred due to the ban by the US government.

The recent US ban had led to the Chinese network gear maker suspending major business operations across the global, including India. The vendor has now resumed its business and operation from last week in India along with other markets after denial order was removed last week by BIS & Department of Commerce, US.

“Customers are confident of ZTE, and suppliers are steady and supported ZTE a lot. Now the darkest hours are gone. The first target of ZTE India is to supply & install all the equipment which were delayed due to ban. ZTE is hopeful to recover the losses very soon,” a person privy to the matter said.

The gear vendor has now resumed providing equipment for BSNL’s 4G and 3G networks expansion in the North-East zone, and Bharti Airtel’s network expansion in select circles. In addition, ZTE is now preparing to start 5G proof of concepts with some of the leading telcos.

The Chinese vendor, that competes with the likes of Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia, suffered some losses because it was not able to perform service operations during the denial order in the country.
“With customer as focus, ZTE India will further concentrate on customers, operate in accordance with legal compliance,” he said.

Queries sent to ZTE India didn’t elicit any response.

During the ban period, ZTE had stopped supply of equipment to its Indian telco customers, and it was not participating any new RFP in the market. Another person said that the Chinese vendor has now started to participate in all new “tenders and RFPs”

“In the last few days, ZTE has got new projects from all three mobile operators in China. ZTE has also got new purchase orders in Algeria, Thailand, India and other oversea markets,” the second person added.

In India, the vendor has already completed pre-5G massive mimo trials with all leading telecom operators.

ZTE India is already executing BSNL Phase 8 project. BSNL, which is one of main customers for ZTE in India, previously awarded contract for around 4000 4G and 10000 3G sites in North & East zone. The vendor had also inked a pact with BSNL to provide network support and 5G gear for future network needs, followed by an agreement with Bharti Airtel to provide them 5G solution and services whenever the telco is ready.

The Chinese vendor is also 2G, 3G and 4G equipment supplier to Airtel in Haryana, Punjab and Kolkata circles. The first person said that the ongoing project and expansion will be carried in a fast pace manner to meet the demands of customer coverage and capacity.

Having completed pre-5G massive mimo trials with Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, and Mukesh Ambani-led 4G telco Reliance Jio, the vendor is now looking forward for the commercial deployments. In addition, the vendor is now going to start 5G proof of concepts (PoCs) with some of leading Indian telcos, according to the first person.

“ZTE is also planning to increase the footprints in the government and enterprise market,” the second person said.

ZTE, like China’s Huawei, has a mobile handset business, which also got impacted due to the US-band. However, the company is now planning to launch new models of handsets in India.

“We are also making a strategy to increase our reach to mobile handset users,” the second person said.

In addition to resuming operations, the company has started work to retain the talent. “if the business requires more hiring, we will sure hire more number of people,” the first person said.

 

Source: telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com

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