As part of Phase 3 of China Unicom's expansion of its nationwide CDMA2000 1X network, the company is deploying networks based on Nortel Networks solutions in four markets in China.

The deployments, which began in April 2003 and are expected to be fully completed by the end of the year, will enable coverage that is more comprehensive and richer applications in Chongqing Municipality and in Zhejiang, Shandong and Heilongjiang provinces.

The deployments for Phase 3 include base station controllers (BSC), mobile switching centres (MSC), ''boomer'' cells and other base transceiver stations (BTS), and takes advantage of Nortel Networks being a supplier with wireless data networks operating in all three advanced technologies - GPRS, CDMA2000 and UMTS.

The company has supplied solutions to China Unicom for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the expansion.

Overall, the contracts underlying these deployments are estimated to be worth approximately US$139 M.

It is expected that these expansions will ultimately provide China Unicom with increased CDMA2000 1X network capacity for close to six million subscribers in the four markets, paving the way for end users to enjoy enhanced facilities and wider applications including high speed wireless data services.