VIENNA, AUSTRIA — Chinese vendor ZTE has surpassed by far the milestone of 60 agreements with operators worldwide in the field of 5G, James Zhang, a senior VP at the Chinese vendor, told RCR Wireless News.
“We had cooperation agreements with 60 operators globally in 5G-related areas by mid-year and we have dramatically surpassed that figure. However we cannot provide the specific number yet,” the executive said on the sidelines of the ZTE’s Global Wireless User Congress and 5G Summit taking place this week in Vienna, Austria.
ZTE had previously announced that it had signed commercial 5G contracts with 25 operators globally.
The company’s President of Global Sales, Xiao Ming, highlighted that ZTE has been actively working with the three Chinese carriers in the development of 5G field trials across that country. “We expect to start seeing large 5G commercial networks in China at the beginning of next year,” Ming said.
He added that the three Chinese operators will end this year with approximately 100,000 5G base stations across the country, which according to the executive, is still a very small number taking into account the size of the Chinese market.
ZTE has already deployed tens of thousands of 5G base stations for Chinese carriers China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. In the 4G segment, ZTE has a market share of nearly 35%, taking into account deployments with the three operators.
The executive said that China currently represents approximately 60% of ZTE’s overall revenues.
“We expect that revenues from China will represent approximately 50% of our revenues in the coming years, as they will be more balanced with our overseas markets,” he added.
Ming also highlighted that ZTE is also seeing large 5G opportunities in European markets, where the vendor is currently engaged in network deployments and trials. ZTE is carrying out several 5G trials with Wind Tre (Italy), Orange (Spain) and has started to deploy a commercial 5G network in Austria in partnership with local operator Drei.
“We have positive expectations regarding business opportunities with 5G in markets such as Germany and France. Europe is currently one of our fastest growing markets. We are also experiencing a high level of growth in certain markets in Asia-Pacific, where we have a solid position in countries such as India, Indonesia and Malaysia,” Ming added.
ZTE is also paving the way to get ready for future 5G launches in key Latin American markets such as Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Mexico. In Latin America, the firm is currently engaged in some field trials with Mexican giant America Movil and Spanish telecom group Telefonica.
“Our strategy is to initially focus on the largest markets in Latin America, where we consider that the 5G potential will be first unlocked in those markets,” he said.