ZTE Wins Telenor’s Countrywide Network Swap Contract

Telenor_Pakistan_ZTEZTE has won a several hundred million dollar contract for Telenor Pakistan’s country wide end-to-end network swap by ousting Nokia Siemens Network, we have confirmed with sources.

Telenor Pakistan has reportedly decided in principle to get ZTE’s services for replacing its entire access and core network infrastructure throughout the country.

After this contract ZTE will become sole vendor for Telenor Pakistan to setup, maintain and run all its network, which will include 3G rollout in coming years.

Exact value of the contract is not revealed so far as the modalities of contract are being worked out as of now, however, we are likely to get an update on this through official announcement planned soon.

Exactly like we have mentioned before, NSN after losing Telenor’s contract is left with no other work in the country except for minor chunk in PTCL and Mobilink. It had already started lay-offs, but loss of Telenor project might result into possible closure of NSN operations in Pakistan, but nothing can be said with certainty at this point of time. It merits mentioning here that Saad Waraich, country director for NSN is also rumored to quit his job by month end.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • Now Telenor will be able to provide cheap rates for their services just like Zong :)

  • Nauman Afzal

    Quite logical. Good products at competitive prices, that’s what ZTE and Huawei are developing.

  • Imran malik

    Dear it is not just country wide swap project but ZTE will provide managed services (for O&M) to TP as well.

    • Aon

      Will be managed by ZTE as well,…. dont expect it to be the same.

      Sad. It was a good telco.

  • Malik

    What a cheap ( Cheap! ) decision. What is wrong wiht them.

    • Stone

      Nothing cheap about it… ZTE is simply becoming one of the most economical and advanced service providers for telcos like huawei…. NSN was over priced, gave shitty services and was uptight….

      • Faheem

        Also worth mentioning here that ZTE has improved big time, since it was banned for 6 months by Telenor.

    • Jawwad

      I wonder if Telenor had made similar decision if it had been about one of its (Western) European operations where the subscribers’ demands for quality of service are crucial to business, e.g. Norway. The devestating telecom industry in Pakistan where all players are losing money is for sure one of the decision drivers for Telenor Pakistan to only look at the price, but maybe even the misperception that the subscriber base in Pakistan is not that demanding when it comes to quality – wrong! When it comes to 3G (if it ever happens despite all the empty talks), ZTE would struggle big time – and I mean BIG TIME! So, it would be interesting to see how Telenor Pakistan will evolve.

  • Irfan

    cheep decision……………

  • Pro pak

    Telenor the new R&D for the zte. Haven’t they seen what happened in hungry n Malaysia…

    • Jawwad

      Short memory, I guess. :-)

  • Saqib

    is it wise decision to handover nationwide network to single vendor???

  • Hamid Umair

    Now we can expect same poor services from Telenor that are present with Zong. All over the world ZTE is regarded for its worst services and solutions

  • Dead Stone

    Its about Price,not about “quality” now for Telenor,NSN was providing excellent services but quality services comes with high prices.It was NSN who made telenor achieve 27 million subscribers in just 6 years nearing Mobilink who has been in field for 15 years.Its the cost war that ZTE has won,in quality and technology,ZTE is far behind NSN.We have already witnessed this in Zong.Best of Luck to Telenor now as they are the ones who will suffer now.

  • pro_pak1

    What went wrong in Hungary and Malaysia with Telenor & ZTE??

  • oohh That’s A lethal Blow for NSN!!

  • Jawwad

    ZTE is probably very happy to welcome Telenor Pakistan to become its yet another Guinea pig and R&D lab. From being #2 service provider in Pakistan, Telenor Pakistan may need to get comfortable with falling to lower ranking pretty soon. It’s not about Chinese products. It’s about the processes, know-how and high tier management experiences that ZTE is missing in the field. I recall one of my Chinese friends in telecom telling me recently “If you wanna be on vacation at work, then work at ZTE”. :-)

  • Akhter
  • Ultimately both ZTE & Huawei driving all other Big players like NSN, NEC, Ericsson & Alcatel- Lucent towards employees lay off, No projects.

    Because they offering cheap prices, no up front payments, Long term payment clauses, But still many things need to develop by ZTE & Huawei, reliable Sub Contractors, highly professionals, committed.

    they both have Govt of China support. Here is new NEW came in the market at same time when this ZTE-Telenor news came that NSN sold out broadband business to USA based Vendor ADTRAN!!!

    Lets see how all goes!!!!

  • Anjum

    “It merits mentioning here that Saad Waraich, country director for NSN is also rumored to quit his job by month end.’…Saad Didn’t deserve to be the country director of a multinational. He was dealing in ATM machines in his porevious role and was suddenlt promoted to services head and then country director. Now he is going back to teh same company where his master went i.e. comptel. Saad and his team could not win a single deal in four years. They ousted the ex-Siemens management based on politics and due to all this leg pulling within NSN others benefited. Hopefuly ZTE will learn lesson from it :) Good luck ZTE

    • INSIDER

      Anjum you spoke my words… Very true indeed. Nokia has reduced the combined network footprint of (Siemens + Nokia) to such an extent where previously the footprint of Nokia alone stood before the merger.

      And what is worse, no one is held accountable for it. such a shame..

  • Nasrullah sheikh

    Guys anyone know the contract value and I have also heard it is not only for Pakistan but also for Bangladesh and Thailand.. Is that true???

    • ProPaki

      Nopes – its for Pakistan only!

  • Wrrick

    Actually, ZTE will not be the sole vendor as NEC will be swapping complete MW infrastructure for Telenor. That implies that NEC and ZTE will be working shoulder to shoulder in this venture.

  • Observer

    To be honest, I believe the author is quite exaggerated and most of the commentators are working at ZTE :)

    ZTE/Huawei definitely beat the price way ahead but not quality and Telenor will suffer for it tremendously.

    Totally agree with Anjum, quite a lot of incompetents are sitting on top from CEO to regional heads

    • admin

      I had to read the post again to see where i exaggerated, i just reported boy, strictly the facts. nothing more nothing less.

  • Billy Ido

    Telenor will be up for sale soon after it upgrades itself on cheap ZTE technology, as a 3G player.

    Bad luck for NSN which has remained a victim of nepotism ever since the merger happened. The guys were focusing on everything except business and you could find the most unsuitable person on virtually every key position. The next target is Comptel and what happens there will be a treat to watch.

  • Well wishing best of luck to team ZTE. Hoping that finally some job would be opening for fresh telecom engineer graduates.

  • Abdul

    Well, i woould suggest that european vendors have a strong management and communication in the organization. I have experience with chinese vendors and they very unrealiable and unprofessional in every manner. you cant trust them any time.

  • Hassan Raza

    Yar NSN equipment is the best but rates and O&M cost of NsN was the main reason for their existence.
    i have work on both NSN And ZTE and little bit on Huawei but i fund NsN is the Best.
    So after that news Good Luck to ZTE and congratulations . . .

  • sammone

    They say it might has to do something with the new CTO of Telenor Pakistan. This guy before coming over to Pakistan gave away a similar swap to ZTE in Hungarian subsidary of Telenor. Some bribes may also be involved since chinese are notorious for unethical practices but who know for sure! All the best to ZTE and its new partner Telenor.

  • Veqar Brigade

    NSN equipment and processes are the best. It is an example of poor customer relationship and NSN was ultimately the loser. When top management is spending time in offices on Mafia Wars and after office in golf clubs instead of building customer relationship and understanding customers then this was already expected.

  • KHAN

    Quality will definitely be compromised as with ZTE as sole vendor of Telenor. However the exciting thing is that at least ZTE has grabbed this business otherwise i was sick of hearing Huawei grabbing every thing. A shock for Huawei as well :p. They were currently providing Managed Services to Telenor.

  • Dead Stone

    I totally agree with veqar.

  • Ali

    ZTE has provided network for 3G and LTE services to CSL Hongkong .It was a big swap project and they were very successful.Other than that Malaysia ,Hungry indicates good track record of ZTE.
    Telenor team is quite experienced and not novice, those who can take a wrong decision for such a major project.

  • waqas

    Any how wrong descision Should go for Ericsson

    • Jawwad Malik

      Ericsson didn’t want this project. Ericsson withdrew its offer and rejected Telenor’s terms and conditions almost 3 weeks before Telenor made its decision on ZTE. Telenor didn’t probably tell the other vendors (ZTE, ALU, NSN, Huawei, NEC, etc.) that Ericsson had stayed away from this deal, so that Telenor could keep the price pressure on those to go even further down with prices.

  • waqas

    Again poor network of Telenor will become worst by choosing most cheap equipment of world. Good bye telenor.
    Real bad time is coming for Telenor PK. Even china mobile in china is using Ericcson for quality not 100% but major portion.
    Not a professional move. Now Telenor customer can only see dancing adds and lot call drops voice distortion, poor data speed.
    Zong is very good example already we have in PK. Even Zong is not using 100% ZTE. Which also clears us that company is now only focusing on rural and low level market.

  • Hyde Park

    Another Loss , How many wins on their own and how many inheritences , they should think to acquire ZTE and Huawei now :)

  • ALI

    I think giving swap offer to ZTE is not a bad deceion,but giving all of the network to one vendor is a big mistake.good luck Telenor.

  • Ahmed

    If we compile summary why TELENOR give whole project(Equipement, O&M, MS) to ZTE is simple due to price. Calls rates are cheapest in pakistan around the world so all operators are focousing on low power, low price equipements. ZTE and HAUWEI are best choice.ZTE services are as good as EUROPIAN venders i.e Ericson, NSN etc……

  • Telecom guru

    Surprised that a vendor award for a network will generate 40 responses. Why are we obsessed with conspiracy theories….can it be that ZTE won it fair and square while complying with the strict RFQ requirements. When someone wins, someone else has to lose.

    Immature to cast allegations on NSN, Telenor executives… Just like it is immature to rubbish Chinese vendors as ‘cheap’ quality.

    Telenor is within a striking distance of Mobilink and way ahead of UFone, Warid, and ZONG… They are not likely to give away their ambitions for a few millions dollars worth of savings…

    • waqas

      @So called Guru
      what about ARPU of Telenor?

    • Jawwad Malik

      I agree about the allegations on Telenor CTO and others. Pure nonesense!

      However, I was expecting the Guru to know more about how Telenor’s strategies resulting in vendor selection and priorities on its markets. You need to read on more, yar!

      The ARPU, as Waqas correctly mentioned, is already down the drain. Telenor has yet no clear 3G strategy. Its half-good quality is subject to experiments of ZTE (not mentioning that ZTE is a serious violater of IPR, which makes Telenor a partner in crime).

      So, it will be really interesting to see where this will all go. I have no doubt that ZTE will go millions of extra miles to get this work as this network will be the biggest reference of ZTE worldwide and ZTE really needs to get this working. Same as Huawei did with Ufone some years ago as Ufone was the 1st major reference for Huawei.

      But the issue is not the vendor here. It’s about how Telenor will serve its customers during and after this swap.

  • parklee

    One thing for sure that I forsee is Telenor will be the beneficiary in the end since their costs will be optimized.

    However, I don’t get the point in giving it all away to ZTE at rates and conditions which nobody else was willing to accept.

    Will ZTE be able to deliver while remaining profitable? Thats a big question mark since they are known to have handed over the POs back to the customer due to non-performance in several cases worldwide. Lets see how things turn up in future.

  • Jamshed

    Now soon we will get NEWS that, Two major telco operator will merge …..

  • ZTE, Huawei, NSN, NEC

    well Telenor made bold decision by giving all the network to one vendor, it is wrongly said that the NEC got the microwave part separately, because if telenor think to separate the microwave part then why not they went for region wise distribution of BSS part, ZTE is a global partner of NEC as well, and all contract is awarded to ZTE worth 750M$ to 770M US$.

    this is very true that the current Telenor CTO is the same who award the project to ZTE for Hungry, and he knew the capability of ZTE to get this project done not from the local resource but from ZTE Norway and international Chinese team. based on this commitment zte favored. because previously on 2008 zte also got the telenor 250 (approximately) sites project through USF, but after 2 year they were just able to On-Air 30 sites and got banned for 6 months from Telenor, all equipment was sent back to zte by imposing LDs as well, so gusy who are thinking for job opportunity is useless altleast till PAC, and yes ofcourse during manage service people might get the chance.

    there is also one rumor in market that first huawei refused to agree on terms and conditions for Contract and KPIs is true, the reason being is huawei offered almost 1B US$ for this project and zte initially offered 1.3BUS$…but zte make the strategic move by offered the final price of 750MUS$. because of the reason that ZTE has no big project in Pakistan except Zong Central sites (which is also in process of replacement by huawei eqp), so in order to survive for next 10 years this was really needed by zte.

    so this project is do and die situation for zte, if every thing goes well then future will be of zte but people know the commitments of Chinese vendors to make the project 100% successful.

    God bless all. because at the end of day, Pakistan will be the one who wins by getting investments.

    • Jawwad Malik

      Good comments, yar. However, one minor correction: Ericsson was the first to reject Telenor’s terms and conditions and refuse to go one with the deal some 2-3 weeks before the decision day. This is 100% confirmed. You can check that with Ericsson’s people. Huawei had the similar strategy as Ericsson (as always), so when Huawei came to the final negotiations, they also did act in the same way.

  • Hamid Raza

    Very wise decision by telenor.ZTE has made state of art SDR equipment.It is equal to 5 outdoor sites because it supports 60 trx.Optical fibre is used from Antena to BTS means high voice qaulity.It supports GSM/UMTS/LTE.

    The reason why ZTE is not so successful on ZONG project is its very low qaulity M/W(DG telecom).
    and its interference in 900 band with army and other operators

    • Zaki Uddin

      whats M/W(DG telecom) would you please elaborate ?

  • layman

    A few thoughts:

    Mr. Malik has pointed out quite a few important and objective points while Guru really needs to read more :)

    So following is more for our Guru and to bring back some rationality in discussion:

    “complying with the strict RFQ requirements.” is what can also be attributed to the doubts as people who have gone through requirements, are well aware about some key requirements being unrealistic. This along with some portfolio related aspects were the reason for E/// to be out prior to commercial negotiations. Same was the prime reason for both H & NSN to be cautious about pricing (due to expected huge LDs if they blindly complied)

    “Telenor is within a striking distance of Mobilink and way ahead of UFone…”
    Now, quoting this very blog, data from PTA is available till June 2011. And based on that, the gap between Talenor & Mobilink is 6.711 Miollion subs while that between Telenor & Ufone is 6.134Million Subs. Gues how we choose words like “striking distance” & “way ahead” :)

    Any supplier (in any business) that gets a few months ban on corruption charges and then gets a very strong entry after that at group level, is bound to have a few murmurs here and there. Does not mean that this would always be the only reason for a contract award.

    Lets bring some rationality in our arguments. Most of the people commenting are working at one or the other telco suppliers or service providers. This should in no way keep us to become illogical.

    Thanks,

  • Muhammad Irfan

    Can ZTE provide Managed services project for Telenor??

  • layman

    Why can’t they?

    There would surely be a ramp up time. with proper resource ramp up, and hopefully if they have processes available from any other operation, it should be a doable tasks. There would be a higher probability of hiccups in this case.

  • Cyko

    ZTE or Huawei, What is the big deal, at the end of the day revenue is going back to China.
    Both these vendors have learnt how to get the business in Govt. or Private Sector but I’m sure they would be ready to support the R&D centres in Universities, or even colleges.

    Our new Engineers or Telecom Industry is missing a GOLDEN chance,

    IF something nice has to be done(Ofcourse Govt. Supported)

    Telecom companies can start at least small level R&D Centres to strenghten the local talent and skilled market.
    And I also think along with the roll-out of the 3G licenses, let the local talent grow together with through jointly operated facilities.
    Universities + Telecom Operators + Vendors

    Anyone Listening !!!!
    !!!!

  • sayyed zakir waqas

    sir my name is waqss i want to do work with you in wapda power side.plz connect with me 03456200026.

  • Naresh

    It is better than HUAWEI , that TELENOR project goes to ZTE and other big project also goes to ZTE(NGN-PTCL).
    TO work with ZTE/other vendor, better than huawei b/c i know huawei polices.

  • curious

    Hi Everyone!
    Any update on this project.
    How ZTE is performing?
    I heard till now, no equipment is arrived yet?
    still planning is going on?

  • MJ

    Dear All,

    More Than 3000 BTS sites was swapped so where are you….
    ZTE on Rock……

  • Farhan

    Well the Guys who have handed over the project in ZTE’s hands is obviously more well groomed and overwhelmingly well know of being Telecom Business and technical experts than all of us writing here. Wake up guys! this is not just about Pakistan, watch-out countries like Norway and Malaysia. Telenor is having ZTE’s services globally.

  • princehass

    Dear all,
    Don’t be in misunderstanding and underestimate ZTE, as reality is reality and everyone know that it is major swap project ever seen in history not only in Pakistan even in South Asia. ZTE 2G/3G SDR solution is much much better as compared to other major vendors in Pakistan. Everyone knows that some major Chinese network equipment is being dismantled from Arabian country. The microwave solutions in this project being implemented by ZTE is NEC iPasolinks, and due to these two combination (NEC, ZTE SDR) Telenor network is much much better then old NSN network according to recent surveys. ZTE is completing this project within the deadlines.

  • Haroon Rashid

    Now after six years past ZTE surpassed Huawei in Pakistan by obtaining PTCL network replaced by ZTE replacing their ONU (Optical Network Unit). Simultaneously ZTE had major contracts in the US and is stopped from 5G for the US and allies. Huawei is now in after long standby position, replacing ZTE.