BT In Research Tie-Up With China’s ZTE


BT has tightened its relationship with Chinese equipment maker ZTE in a new R&D deal

BT has expanded its research presence in China through a deal with Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE, announced on Wednesday.

BT and ZTE will look to develop international telecoms standards for next-generation communications systems, with both companies jointly owning any resulting intellectual property, BT said.

Previous relationship

The partnership is the first of its kind between BT and ZTE, but builds on previous deals, including a 2007 agreement for BT to provide telecommunications services to ZTE.

The partnership builds on ZTE’s experience as an equipment maker and BT’s strengths in rolling out communications services internationally.

“We’ve been very impressed with the knowledge and sophistication of ZTE’s team and, by combining our complementary strengths and expertise on a range of research projects, we expect this partnership to be very fruitful for both ourselves and our respective customers,” said BT Group CIO Clive Selley, in a statement.

Xie Daxiong, EVP and CTO of ZTE, said the company is looking forward to a “close and effective research relationship” with BT.

BT said it would not take on more staff as part of the deal, funding it from its existing research and development budget.

The two companies have already begun working together at BT’s research centre at Adastral Park in Martlesham and at ZTE’s research centre in China, the companies said.

Research centres

China’s regulations prohibit BT from operating a network in the country, so to date it has focused on setting up research capabilities in the country and selling services to China-based companies, as well as Western companies such as Nestlé and Unilever that operate in China. The company has five research centres in China, having opened centres in Shanghai and Dalian in 2007.

ZTE is perhaps best known by Western consumers for its inexpensive Android handsets, including the Skate, announced in February.

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