ZTE Ranks Fourth In Number of Secured Commercial 5G Contracts

ZTE 5G Network
ZTE at Mobile World Congress 2015 Barcelona (Photo: Flickr.com / Kārlis Dambrāns)

ZTE Corp has managed to come out of ahead this year after almost collapsing due to stiff sanctions imposed on its by the United States last year. One of China's largest telecommunications equipment suppliers announced this week that it has already secured around 25 commercial 5G network contracts.

The Shenzhen-based tech firm also stated that it currently is in talks to close more deals with its international clients. ZTE, currently the world's fourth-largest telecom supplier, has active contracts with over 60 telecommunications carriers from all over the world.

Despite the good news mentioned in the company's press release published on Tuesday, ZTE stock prices still failed to rally up. The firm's stock prices dropped by around 2.49 percent on the same day as its press release, falling to around HK$21.50 per share during closing.

According to the Chinese telecom supplier, it is apparently ahead of its rival Ericsson, which had reportedly closed only 22 commercial 5G network contracts so far. ZTE is, however, falling behind its larger rivals Nokia and Huawei. Finland's Nokia has reportedly secured around 43 contracts so far, while China's Huawei leads the pack with over 50 commercial 5G contracts.

Huawei, ZTE, Nokia, and Ericsson are fiercely competing to secure 5G contracts worldwide as countries are preparing to upgrade to the faster network infrastructure. 5G provides ultra-fast connections that are 100 times faster the 4G.

The rapid adoption of 5G technologies will be a big advantage to economies given how it can rapidly improve industries such as manufacturing, financial services, communications, and other sectors. The technology is also particularly important in powering industrial internet applications such as autonomous driving and artificial intelligence systems.

According to analysts, total 5G-related spending in 52 markets could reach over $123 billion by 2020. So far, countries such as the UK, Australia, and the United States have started to launch initial commercial 5G mobile services.

China is expected to be the largest 5G market worldwide, with major infrastructures being supplied by ZTE and Huawei. Earlier in the month, three of China's largest telecom carriers were granted commercial 5G licenses by the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

China Mobile revealed last week that it is aiming to provide 5G services to over 40 cities in China. ZTE was able to secure a small portion of China Mobile's equipment contracts. However, the percentage that ZTE acquired pales in comparison to what Huawei was able to secure.  Due to the ongoing trade dispute between China and the United States, both Chinese firms have been unable to secure contracts in the US.

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