"We are very excited to extend our long-standing relationship with China Unicom and support them in upgrading their nationwide CDMA network to CDMA2000," said CEO Kurt Hellström, Ericsson.

In addition to upgrading existing sites to CDMA2000, the contracts also include expansion of Ericsson's original Phase one contracts with China Unicom.

CDMA2000 deployment is scheduled to begin immediately in all provinces and all networks are expected to be commercial by the end of 2002.

China Unicom already has commercial subscribers on Ericsson's CDMA2000 1X solution installed in the Sichuan province, with more than 10,000 paying subscribers on the network already. 

"We are happy to provide China Unicom with our cost-effective CDMA2000 solution and pleased to see commercial traffic on our network in Sichuan," said Åke Persson, president of Ericsson CDMA Systems. "Our CDMA2000 solution will provide China Unicom with a future proof solution with seamless migration to the next phases of CDMA2000 1xEV and beyond to All-IP."

Nanjing Ericsson Panda Communications Company Ltd. (ENC),  Ericsson's largest joint venture in China, will deliver Ericsson's leading CDMA2000 solution to China Unicom. The total solution contracts include: 800 MHz compact radio base stations (RBS); base station controllers (BSC); mobile switching centers (MSC); home location registers (HLR); and a full portfolio of services including network management, training, network rollout and technical support.