Chinese telecom giant ZTE announces Tunisia entry

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A Tunisian woman poses in front of a tank while a friend takes her picture with a mobile phone in downtown Tunis, Tunisia, on 19 January, 2011. Photo - Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters

Chinese telecom giant ZTE, also the world’s fourth-largest mobile phone producer, said on Monday it is entering the Tunisian market despite uncertain economic and political conditions in the North African country.

ZTE’s announcement comes after a series of test launches since last year. The Chinese company is partnering with Tunisian mobile phone distributor RayenCom as part of its ambitious project to enter the lucrative African market. The Shenzen-based telecommunications equipment and system company has struck a deal with the Tunisian company to provide a wide range of products.

“The Tunisian market has answered very favourably. Both ZTE and its Tunisian partner have decided to launch the brand in June 2012 which boasts an innovative technology and an excellent quality-price ratio,” Fadhel Kerkache, a consultant for Rayencom, told Xinhua.

Tunisia, a country of 10.6 million people, is one of the largest mobile phone markets in Africa with more than 9 million mobile phone subscribers.

“In spite of the saturation of Tunisian telecom market, ZTE has managed to find its place in Tunisia,” Rayencom’s CEO Belhassen Zemni said.

“ZTE collaborates with 500 telephone operators in the world and is present in more than 140 countries in the world, including the United States and Europe,” Jasmine Xu, ZTE’s marketing director, told the Chinese state-run news agency while adding that the world’s fifth largest telecoms equipment maker employs 85,000 people, and has 107 sales representations worldwide.

ZTE’s turnover was estimated at $13.6 billion for 2011, representing a growth of 28.6% compared to 2010, she said.

The Chinese telecom giant says it will launch five products in Tunisia, including two smartphones and a tablet running on Android 2.3.

Founded in 1985, the top Chinese company is confident that its products will soon capture the mobile handset market in Tunisia, given the strong local demand for quality mobile handsets at reasonable prices. ZTE’s core products are mobile phones, wireless devices, exchange, optical transmission and data telecommunications gear, and telecommunications software.

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