China’s ZTE wins Hungary deal

Steve Dinneen
Follow Steve
China’s ZTE Corp has won a major contract to roll out a 4G mobile network in Hungary in a coup for the Chinese telecoms industry.

The deal with Telenor, valued at €200m (£163m), represents a thawing of the mistrust surrounding Chinese technology firms.

As early as this month ZTE saw the Indian government block purchase orders placed with it over fears its equipment may leak sensitive information to foreign governments.

Other countries and private firms have also been sceptical about dealing with the Chinese, especially in mobile technology markets.

But firms such as ZTE and rival Huawei Technologies are now taking on traditional powerhouses Ericsson and Nokia. ZTE has rolled out seven 4G mobile networks, called LTEs, and has trialled a further 50 worldwide.

It has had the most success exporting to developing markets in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, but has made less inroads with major contracts in developed markets such as the US and Western Europe.

Under its latest deal, ZTE will build a complete network for Telenor Hungary, including LTE capabilities, in addition to older 2G and 3G technology.

ZTE has previously built similar networks for Telenor, which has major presence in emerging markets, in India and Montenegro.

Last week, ZTE’s quarterly earnings missed forecasts as a result of the ban on its equipment sales to India.