Marconi (London, NASDAQ: MONI), a global provider of advanced communications solutions, has expanded its contribution to the Chinese communications market with a wave of new contracts to supply solutions to provincial telecoms operators, regional utility companies and a cable television enterprise which is moving into internet technology.
Marconi solutions are now playing a role in China's plans to double the number of fixed telephone lines serving its 1.2 billion people: from just over 100 million in 1999 to more than 200 million by 2004. The country's 20 million line-per-year fixed network growth is more than the remainder of Asia put together; last year there were 25 million new mobile users in China.
The new contracts won by Marconi include four from provincial operators owned by China Unicom -- the country's second largest telecom company. They are in Shanghai, Guangdong, Anhui and Fujian. Between them, the provincial operators have purchased Marconi solutions worth $35 million. A fifth provincial operator, Ningxia Telecom, part of China Telecom, has also bought Marconi SDH to develop its network.
Two of China's major regional utility companies, North China and North East China Electric & Power, have chosen Marconi SDH to build an inter-company connection carrying voice and data at high speed over optical fibre. In southern China, regional cable television company Jiangmen CATV has purchased a Marconi switching solution which will create a new high speed internet protocol (IP) network serving banks, power utilities, businesses and official organizations including customs. The network will use IP over asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) technology, combining the flexibility and access of internet with the very high speeds attainable from ATM.
Last year Marconi set up the Guilin Marconi Technology (GMT) joint venture in partnership with the Guilin Optical Communications Engineering Factory, which is part of the Chinese Ministry of Information Industries (MII) -- the government department responsible for national communications policy. Its customer base includes the Ministry of Power as well as China Unicom. In 1996 it formed the Shanghai Marconi joint venture in partnership with the Shanghai Railway Communications Equipment Factory -- another state-owned manufacturer of telecoms equipment. Its customer base includes China's rail companies.
Marconi plc is a global communications and IT company that supplies advanced communications solutions and the key technologies and services for the Internet. For more information, visit www.marconi.com.