ZTE views UK as key in European growth

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The Chinese vendor is confident of competing in the UK

ZTE has highlighted its aim to make the UK a major market for the Chinese firm in Europe, as it expressed confidence that it can compete with rivals in 5G build-outs.

Speaking to Mobile News at the Global 5G Event in Valencia in Spain, ZTE president for Western Europe Kun Hu said: “We are making more efforts to approach the UK’s four main operators, as we’re looking to make the country an important footprint for ZTE.”

Similarly to rivals Huawei, ZTE was last year deemed a “potential risk” to national security by British cybersecurity watchdog the National Cyber Security Centre.

Kun explained that ZTE has been working and investing for the last two years to be more “transparent and compliant”, something that has yielded contract wins and “vital” collaborations with major operators across Europe such as Orange Spain.

ZTE opened a new cybersecurity centre within the EU’s headquarters in Brussels this month. The opening ceremony was attended by representatives of the European Commission and European Council. It’s the company’s third cybersecurity centre, adding to centres in Nanjing and Rome.

Kun said: “These three centres, and others we create in future, will offer decision-makers one platform to verify to test ZTE solutions globally. From this initiative, we have had praise from governments and partners. The strategy will help our target of remaining in the European market for a long time.”

ZTE has 10 employees based in the UK to work with the government on cybersecurity compliance.

ZTE managing director of 5G RAN services Alex Wang explained that the vendor is already familiar with the UK, having built Jersey Telecom’s 4G network, constructing 100 base stations. The firm will be upgrading the operator’s network and connecting the Channel Islands to 5G by 2021.

He bullishly claimed competitive markets such as the UK needs “wonders” such as ZTE to keep prices low for consumers. Wang added that the vendor can compete with rivals such as Ericsson and Nokia due to its better massive MIMO technology.

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