Siemens, Huawei start Chinese 3G mobile venture

Siemens AG and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. signed a contract on Thursday to form a joint venture for manufacturing new mobile broadband systems, aimed mostly at the huge Chinese market. The contract follows a memorandum of understanding signed by the two manufacturers in August.

The joint venture, in which Munich-based Siemens will have a 51 per cent stake, will develop, manufacture and sell high-speed mobile network systems based on the Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (TD-SCDMA ) technology. The technology, which has been largely developed in China, is being promoted by the Chinese government as a third third-generation (3G) standard, alongside Wideband CDMA (W-CDMA ) and CDMA2000.

The still unnamed venture, to be based in Beijing, aims to have products available in the “coming months” and to participate in 3G pilots organized by the Ministry of Information Industry during the year, according to Siemens spokeswoman Andrea Rohmeder. Siemens has been developing TD-SCDMA systems since 1998, and is currently testing the technology in several network pilots in China, she said.

Siemens and Huawei, which is located in Shenzhen, China, plan to invest more than US$100 million in the venture, the companies said.

Although the primary focus of the venture is to supply TD-SCDMA systems to China, the group will look to expand to other markets down the road, Rohmeder said.

China is the world’s largest mobile phone market, with more than 270 million customers, Siemens said.

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