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ZTE has big plans for Kenya

Updated: 2014-02-21 09:52
By Xinhua News Agency ( China Daily Africa)

Chinese telecommunication firm ZTE says it plans to tap into Kenya's fast-growing telecom sector.

ZTE Kenya CEO Liu Sen told journalists in Nairobi on Feb 13 that the telecom sector has revolutionized the east African nation's economy. "We will help Kenya to leverage the latest technology to increase the population's access to education and health," Liu says.

He says that Kenya is full of potential and has emerged as one of the regional economic hubs in Africa. "ZTE is therefore looking forward to seeking possibilities in deploying cutting-edge technology such as the 4G network in Kenya," Liu says.

The CEO says his firm has already deployed 75 commercial 4G networks globally and has conducted trials for another 100 operators.

"The experiences we have gained from global operations will guide operations in Kenya," Liu says. The firm, which was founded in 1985, is listed on the Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock exchanges.

The company focuses on telecom operator services, government enterprise and mobile device sectors. The CEO says that the company spends more than 10 percent of its total revenue on research and development.

"For the past two years, ZTE has been the world's biggest originator of technical patents. We are also committed to the standardization of technology so that all systems are interoperable," Liu says.

The company has 18 R&D centers in China, Europe and in the United States. "We are at advanced stages of establishing an R&D center in Africa," he says.

ZTE Kenya Deputy CEO Thomas Yang says that his firm is ready to bring more cost-effective information communication technology solutions to both government and private enterprises.

"We would like to work with the Kenyan government so that the country attains world class excellence in ICT," Yang says. "Due to the cordial ties between Kenya and China, the Chinese government is always ready to offer financing for Kenyan projects."

The deputy CEO says that Chinese firms have a huge competitive advantage over their Western counterparts due to their low labor cost.

"In the past, we have provided ICT solutions that have enabled the government to ensure efficiency and transparency in service delivery," Yang says.

ZTE Kenya Chief Technology Officer Leo Yu says that his firm will focus on technical skills transfer to Kenya through a raft of measures, including offering professional training at the ZTE University in China.

Yu says that the firm sells smartphones that are customized for both low-end and high-end mobile subscribers. In terms of shipment ZTE is ranked as the No 4 handset provider globally.

( China Daily Africa Weekly 02/21/2014 page20)

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