* China Unicom, China Mobile orders to be delivered in 2009
* to deliver China Unicom’s 3G network to 11 provinces of 31
* to deliver 3G, 2G equipment to China Mobile
(Adds details, quotes)
By Tarmo Virki, European technology correspondent
HELSINKI, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Telecoms gear firm Nokia Siemens Networks [NSN.UL] said on Wednesday it had won orders worth 7.6 billion yuan ($1.11 billion) for 2009 from China Mobile 0941.HK and China Unicom 0762.HK.
Nokia Siemens said it would be the sole supplier of China Unicom’s WCDMA network equipment in 11 provinces out of 31, and hoped the deals would provide it with a good base for further network expansions and upgrades.
"There is a lot of pressure to roll out in speed to get the network up and running in the first half," Rajeev Suri, head of services unit at Nokia Siemens, told Reuters. Telecoms equipment makers are battling fiercely for large orders in a shrinking market as operators delay investments due to the economic slowdown, and Asian vendors Huawei [HWT.UL] and ZTE 0763.HK put pressure on prices.
“The competitive environment continues to be tough,” Suri said.
“It’s always a good sign to get an order, and Nokia Siemens has been high up on the speculations about the China deals,” said Pohjola Bank analyst Hannu Rauhala. “This year, many large orders will come from Asia.”
China and India are expected to be the key growth areas for the market, with China’s three telecoms carriers expected to spend 400 billion yuan over the next three years, building out their 3G mobile networks.
China Unicom holds a licence to develop a 3G mobile network under WCDMA standards, while China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier, will use the nation’s homegrown TD-SCDMA technology for its 3G network. (Additional reporting by Sakari Suoninen, editing by Will Waterman)