SHANGHAI, CHINA – Chinese vendor ZTE has already signed commercial 5G contracts with 25 operators globally, the company’s senior vice president and president of the wireless product division, Zhang Wanchun, told reporters.
The telecom equipment manufacturer has also already shipped over 50,000 5G base stations globally, he added.
The executive said that ZTE has been working with 60 telecom operators around the world in 5G-related cooperation agreements, including field trials.
The executive highlighted 5G contracts with Austrian telco Hutchinson Drei and Italian operator Wind Tre.
He also said that ZTE is confident that it will gain a large portion of 5G contracts in China now that the government has officially awarded 5G licenses to China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom as well as to the country’s state-run broadcaster China Broadcaster Network.
“By the end of this year, we expect China to have large-scale, pre-commercial 5G networks by the three operators, while we expect large 5G commercial networks in the country during 2020,” he said.
Zhang said that ZTE has been actively working with the three carriers in the development of 5G field trials across China.
“We have also signed contracts for the launch of pre-commercial 5G networks with the Chinese carriers,” he added.
“With the launch of 5G services, a number of industries will benefit from this technology and this is why we are currently working with several industries in China for the development of specific applications to meet these industries’ needs,” he said.
ZTE is currently manufacturing 5G base stations at its manufacturing facility in Shenzhen while the firm also expects to produce these base stations in another facility in Nanjing in the future.
ZTE has already deployed tens of thousands of 5G base stations for Chinese carriers China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, Wang Jiayi, director of 5G RAN Solutions at ZTE, recently told RCR Wireless News.
“With China Mobile, we are deploying 5G infrastructure in 12 cities including Beijing. With China Telecom, we are starting with five cities. We are deploying 5G in Xiong’an, a 5G standalone network for China Telecom, and we expect these initial five cities would expand in the future,” the executive said on the sidelines of the Global 5G Event which took place last week in Valencia, Spain.
He also said that deployments for China Unicom are currently taking place in six cities, including Shenzhen.
The executive said that some Chinese carriers are already offering pre-commercial 5G services to a group of friendly users.
In January 2019, ZTE completed the third phase of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s IMT-2020 5G core network tests.
The third-phase testing involved evaluations of the performance of the network function virtualization infrastructure platform, the service performance of the 5G core network element, as well as system capacity and stability.
The vendor said it passed all test cases and met the requirements for service model and specification indicators with its test results, verifying the maturity of its 5G core network solution. The security function test focused on the device identity management and registration, as well as the security service procedure in mobility. ZTE said its system successfully passed all the mandatory test cases.
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