Total Telecom caught up with CE Ye, vice president of FDD Products at ZTE, to discuss how the Chinese kit maker is helping operators around the world ready their networks for the imminent arrival of 5G

With operators around the world scrambling to ready their networks for the demands of 5G, ZTE is endeavouring to help them deliver the best performing next generation networks.

Focus on 5G

5G presents a real opportunity for ZTE to showcase its range of products and solutions on the biggest and most visible stage of all. 5G will be a key part of the company’s strategy over the next 12-18 months as it looks to help operators develop their existing network architecture.

"We will carry on focussing on 5G, for sure, and we will continue to pour resources and investment into that," said Ye.

"We can help operators upgrade their networks. Some operators will have installed their networks 5 or 6 years ago and we can help them upgrade their existing infrastructure and get their networks ready for 5G.  They need to use better performing equipment, so that is a big opportunity for us to enter these markets around the world.

For any tech company in the telecoms market, forming partnerships with telcos and network operators will be a key strategy, and things will be no different for ZTE in this regard. 

"We want to enable operators to be able to build a network that provides not only the best performance on 4G but also has the capability to smooth the evolution to 5G. We can help operators do this – improve their network performance and reduce capex. This is our chance to enter into new markets," Ye explained. 

ZTE expects to see these partnerships to continue being forged, with increasing urgency as operators look to rollout their networks as early as next year.

"We expect to see things begin to move properly in Q3 or Q4 of 2019. In fact, some operators are already signing contracts with vendors for their 5G systems," he said.

Opportunities at home and abroad

ZTE remains focussed on increasing its global footprint and has identified a number of key areas to target growth, particularly in Europe and Asia.

"In addition to our operations in Belgium, Italy, Hungary and Austria, we are really focussed on the new opportunities in a range of international markets. We see huge opportunities for us in countries like Spain and Germany," Ye explained.

"Asia is also a huge market for us. We already have a significant market share in Asia but we see lots more opportunities there, especially in places like India and Japan."   

In addition to international expansion, ZTE is also eyeing growth on the domestic front, where opportunities around 5G abound.  

"China remains a huge market for us. Operators in China are concentrating on upgrading their networks [in preparation for the arrival of 5G], so this is a really huge opportunity for us. We understand what they need and can match our product offering to meet their needs.

Providing the right solution for every situation

ZTE has an impressive range of products and services to help operators evolve their network capabilities and pave the way for 5G. The company has recently launched its Neat Radio portfolio of services, which the company says will help kickstart their 5G offering.

ZTE Neat Radio includes all-site-scenario and all-RAT. ZTE claims that it can help operators who are determined to further enhance their existing networks and at the same time ready their networks for 5G deployment.

ZTE Neat Radio is a highly efficient and advanced radio solution. It can help operators who are determined to enhance their existing networks and at the same time get their networks ready for 5G. The solution can help operators to reduce their opex and capex," Ye said.

For more information on the full range of ZTE’s products and services, visit