China’s ZTE has won a project contract from Cosmote Romania to transform its existing 2G/3G network and expand the Greek-owned cellco’s 4G LTE network coverage across southern Romania with a new radio access infrastructure deployment. The deal is expected to require construction of more than 3,000 base stations. Cosmote Romania launched commercial LTE services in April 2013 in the 1800MHz band, achieving 4G coverage of more than 40% of the urban population of the country across 20 cities (including over 90% of capital Bucharest) by July 2014, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, which adds that Cosmote is targeting 80% urban population coverage in 160 towns/cities by the end of 2014. The operator won additional 1800MHz, 2600MHz, 800MHz and 900MHz spectrum in 2012 which all became valid in April 2014.
ZTE notes in a press release that previous cooperation with Cosmote Romania on 3G UMTS networks has laid a solid foundation for further work on LTE projects; in April 2010 ZTE completed a W-CDMA/HSPA+ rollout project for Cosmote using SDR (software defined radio) technologies.
Also this week Cosmote Romania and sister fixed line incumbent RomTelecom gave an update on their upcoming rebranding under the ‘Telekom’ and ‘T’ banners of indirect owner Deutsche Telekom – the 40% shareholder of the Romanian firms’ majority parent OTE of Greece. A press conference will be held on 12 September to officially announce the launch of the new converged fixed and mobile branding on the Romanian market. As reported earlier this month by CommsUpdate, their respective legal names will change to Telekom Romania Communications SA (replacing Romtelecom SA) and Telekom Romania Mobile Communications SA (replacing Cosmote Romanian Mobile Telecommunications SA) in September, and the duo will also have a single call centre, a single corporate website and a single online customer-facing presence under the ‘Telekom Romania’ brand.