ZTE to build €500m fibre network for Greece’s Forthnet

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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Seven-year deal signed in Beijing in presence of Greek prime minister to build nationwide fibre network

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras has announced a €500 million project for three Chinese vendors to build a Greece-wide fibre network for telecoms and internet provider Forthnet.

Tsipras made the announcement this weekend in Beijing at China’s Belt and Road Forum, where the country announced global cooperation plans to build links to Europe.

The three companies involved in building the network are ZTE, which already has a cooperation agreement with Forthnet, plus KaiXinRong and Shanghai Gongbao Business Consulting.

Forthnet chairman Panos Papadopoulos told the Athens Macedonian News Agency: “The discussions started last year and it took us about a year to conclude them and get to sign the agreement today. ZTE is Forthnet’s technology partner and its role is important as it is a global company that opens the 21st century telecommunication road for Greece.”

The three companies will spend €350 million over the next three years with the other €150 million over the following four, said Forthnet.

Forthnet and ZTE signed the contract in Beijing in the presence of Tsipras and Greece’s digital policy minister Nikos Pappas. No details have yet been released about the coverage of the network.