The Chinese vendor said it expects to ship 300,000 small cells this year globally

BARCELONA- ZTE expects to see growing business opportunities with 5G in Asian and European markets, ZTE’s SVP and president of wireless product operation division, James Zhang, told reporters.

The executive said that the most developed Asian markets in terms of 5G deployments will be China, Japan and South Korea. He also said that the Chinese vendor is also pursuing business opportunities in several European markets, where the company has been expanding its presence.

He highlighted that ZTE has already signed a number of Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with key mobile operators including Telefonica, Orange and Etisalat for the deployment of 5G trials.

“We have already signed over 20 MoU in the 5G field with operators in China and overseas markets,” Zhang said.

“We have deployed a total of 180 4G networks in over 100 countries. These customers are also potential customers for the future deployment of 5G networks,” he added.

“ZTE’s 5G strategy is an end-to-end strategy. It includes the radio access, the core network, the transport network and the mobile devices,” the executive said.

Zhang said that ZTE currently has a total 4,500 engineers working in the vendor’s wireless division.

In the small cells segment, the executive said the company expects to ship a total of 300,000 small cells this year compared to 100,000 in 2017.

In early 2017, ZTE released a full range of pre-5G solutions for both high and low frequency bands in addition to the launch of several 5G field tests. ZTE said it plans to deploy commercial pre-5G solutions by the end of 2018 followed by 5G products in commercial networks in the first half of 2019.

The executive also said that the company continues to have very positive results in China’s national 5G trials. “We have completed the first two phases of the trials and we are now engaged in the third phase,” he said.

The project’s research and development can be divided into three phases: key technology verification, technical solution verification, and system verification.

China’s 5G test is being guided and planned by the government. It is led by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), and implemented by China’s IMT-2020 (5G) promotion group.

Zhang also said that the Chinese government is pushing operators to accelerate 5G deployments which will allow the country’s three telcos to select additional cities for the launch of pre-commercial 5G network deployments.

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