Portugal’s Ar Telecom and China’s ZTE partners in Central Europe and Asia

13 December 2005

Lisbon, Portugal, 13 Dec – Portuguese telecom operator, Ar Telecom and Chinese technology firm, ZTE plan to enter the emerging markets of Central Europe and Asia in partnership, according to a deal signed by the two companies.

The agreement between the SGC group, of which Ar Telecom is a part, and ZTE, was signed in Lisbon at the end of last week in the presence of the prime ministers of both countries.

An Ar Telecom source told Macau Hub that the agreement includes setting up an advanced voice services platform in Portugal developed by ZTE, China’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer.

Ar Telecom is currently expanding and has an investment plan totaling some 800 million euros over the next five years, financed by the SGC group, and bank loans.

According to the same, Ar Telecom and ZTE also plan to develop a turnkey solution for multimedia telecom infrastructures.

This solution will be based on ZTE technology and the Ar Telecom technical and operation model, which includes the “wireless tripleplay TMAX” platform (high frequency wireless access), developed by the Portuguese carrier.

According to the Ar Telecom source, the agreement is part of the operator’s plan to create, “a strong core of international partnerships,” and represents and understanding, on the Chinese side, of the capacity for, “technological innovation and development” of the Portuguese company.

AR Telecom aims to be the first telecommunications operator in Portugal to work with its own network, and that does not on Portugal Telecom, and base don technology developed by SGC.

According to the SGC group, the technological development of the network, which will supply television, Internet and voice services, requires an investment of some 300 million euros over the next few years.

Ar Telecom is the result of SGC acquiring the Spanish-owned operator Jazztel, although the group’s activities are mainly focused on vehicle sales and finance. (macauhub)