Italian mobile phone operator Wind is to spend $1.3 billion on building a fourth-generation (4G) mobile broadband network to step up competition to rivals Telecom Italia
The investment will use technology from Italy's Sirti (Milan, Italy) and Huawei Technologies (Shenzhen, China)
"This new considerable investment follows last year's purchase of the LTE (Long Term Evolution) frequencies," Wind Chief Executive Maximo Ibarra said, referring to frequencies for delivering faster communications.
The deal will last five years, a Huawei spokesperson added.
Wind (Rome, Italy), which is owned by VimpelCom (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Huawei is already a supplier of the three other Italian mobile phone companies and has won 4G contracts with EE (Hatfield, UK) in Britain and Vodafone (Newbury, UK) in Germany. However, it continues to be shut out of the U.S. market over security concerns.
Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden)
($1 = 0.7618 euros)
(Reporting by Danilo Masoni and Leila Abboud; Editing by Mark Potter)