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ZTE eyes Xi'an facility
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ZTE Corp will invest a total of 6 billion yuan (US$882 million) over several years to build a facility in Xi'an to manufacture and research next-generation mobile communications, China's biggest public telecommunication equipment maker said yesterday.

ZTE will work on the home-grown TD-SCDMA (time division-synchronous code division multiple access) and other 3.5G and 4G (fourth generation) technologies and related products at the Xi'an plant, ZTE said.

The firm said the value of the facility's output is likely to be 18 billion yuan annually, of which 2 billion yuan will be contributed by its software business.

"The 4G is in the schedule but it still takes a long period for the services to debut in China," Zhu Pengjun, assistant director of Shanghai Research Center of Wireless Communication, said in a previous interview.

But the 4G technology, whose speed is 50 times that of the coming 3G networks, won't be used commercially in the next few years because some of its functions overlap with those under 3G which China has invested heavily in, experts said.

ZTE is one of the major equipment vendors for China Mobile's TD-SCDMA network and is bidding to clinch contracts to upgrade the telco's network and that of China Telecom too.

Besides Xi'an facility, ZTE has plants in Tianjin and Shenzhen as well as several research centers nationwide including Shanghai.

Shares of Shenzhen-listed ZTE gained 0.19 percent to 26.9 yuan, compared with an increase of 0.47 percent for the Shenzhen stock market index yesterday.

(Shanghai Daily September 11, 2008)

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