Afghanistan joins the party today with the announcement of a $32 million dollar supply contract between ZTE and Afghan Telecom for GSM and 3G equipment.
Under the terms of the agreement, ZTE will provide 700 base stations to regions in Afghanistan that are not yet covered and/or intermittently unstable due to security issues. Afghanistan’s official telecom bureau, the MCIT, has stated that over the next two years, they will invest a total of $100 million for network deployment.
Huawei and ZTE have been making headway despite their reputation in the United States, where a Congressional panel recently concluded that the two companies should be blocked from US contract deals. However, in countries such as the UK, France and New Zealand, they are making some impressive progress.
ZTE has never quite recovered from its PR crisis in the US, as the company has come under fire in the past year for allegedly selling banned Cisco products to Iran and trying to cover up the evidence. While Chinese telecoms cannot hope to gain acceptance from the US in the near term, the rest of the world is open for grabs.