Ericsson has signed a series of five contracts worth US$176 million (SEK 1,631 million) to expand China Unicom’s GSM 900 networks in the five provinces of Jilin, Sichuan, Jiangsu, Anhui and Hubei. This will increase the capacity of the networks in these five provinces to 3.83 million subscribers by the end of this year.
During 1999, Ericsson won orders worth USD 220 million from China Unicom. In a deal announced in June this year, Ericsson became the largest supplier of infrastructure, equipment, software, services and applications to China Unicom’s WAP networks in nine cities in six provinces.
“These contracts are further evidence of Ericsson’s strong partnership with China Unicom, as well as a commitment to growing its share of the China market, “ says Michael Ricks, president of Ericsson (China).
Wang Jianzhou, executive vice president of China Unicom, praised the successful co-operation of the companies during the past few years. “We believe that with the growth of China Unicom, the co-operation between the two sides will be further expanded and deepened,” he said.
Ericsson’s two key manufacturing joint ventures in China – Beijing Ericsson Mobile Communications and Nanjing Ericsson Mobile Communication Company – will supply the equipment and services. Ericsson signed its first GSM expansion contract with Wuxi Branch in 1995, and is now the major supplier of solutions and professional services to China Unicom in both wired and wireless systems.
Ericsson China has nearly 4,000 employees, 24 offices across the country and 10 joint ventures that provide a full range of communications solutions and services. The company provides total solutions covering everything from systems and applications to mobile phones and other communications tools. It has more than 100,000 employees in 140 countries.
Established in July 1994, China Unicom is China’s second largest telecommunications operator. With nearly 12 million users, the company is the only fully licensed service provider in the country.