ZTE USA Strengthens Momentum in the U.S. Telecom Market


Anthony E Ortolani currently serves as President and CEO of Smart PCS, a no contract, unlimited wireless telephone company based in Dalton, GA. Formerly he worked as President and CEO of Central States Tower (CST), a Chicago based Tower Holding Company, a national consolidator of wireless infrastructure. Prior to CST, Mr. Ortolani was Founder and Managing Operator of Communication Enhancement, which was one of the nation's largest wireless infrastructure and network development companies, owning and operating over 200 towers.

In December 2008, Smart PCS, an unlimited no contract pre-paid carrier, selected ZTE USA, a subsidiary of ZTE Corporation, as the key CDMA infrastructure and device vendor partner to support its initial service launch. ZTE USA's mobile Softswitch equipment and All-IP CDMA2000 1xEV-DO base stations are being used to construct the networks in the initial markets the carrier will serve, which include northwest Georgia and Tennessee, as well as future markets to which the carrier will expand. Smart PCS also chose ZTE USA's data cards and high quality, feature-rich handsets to offer to its new subscribers.

What are the major considerations that Smart PCS used in choosing ZTE as its network equipment partner? How will Smart PCS develop its future network? With these questions in mind, the journalist of ZTE TECHNOLOGIES made an exclusive interview with Anthony E Ortolani, President and CEO of Smart PCS.

Journalist: It's our great honor that you gave us the opportunity to interview you. ZTE TECHNOLOGIES is ZTE's own magazine; our major readers include our 50,000 employees and telecom industry partners in 135 countries around the world. First of all, would you please give us a brief introduction of Smart PCS and your major business?

Ortolani: Smart PCS is a regional cellular carrier offering unlimited local, long distance and international wireless services including voice, text and picture messaging, and Internet browsing. 
J: As a fast growing and new regional CDMA network provider, what are your strategies to compete with other operators?

Ortolani: Our strategy is simple. We offer customers the best wireless experience, which includes coverage, service and customer care. In addition, Smart PCS is the only wireless provider within our network that offers an unlimited "all you can eat" program, and no contract is required.
J: What is your current network coverage status? Could you please describe your future network development plan?

Ortolani: Our current network coverage includes Northern Georgia and Southern Tennessee. However, strategic roaming agreements are in place, which allows our customers to use their wireless devices anywhere throughout the United States and parts of Mexico. Ongoing negotiations are underway to acquire additional  frequency spectrum to further enhance Smart PCS' network.

J: Regarding handset terminal, ZTE is No.1 handset manufacturer in China, and ranks top 6 worldwide; we just shipped our 100 million handsets in September. What is your strategy in choosing your handset partners? What do you think about ZTE handset?

Ortolani: In choosing a handset provider, Smart PCS is aligned with vendors who meet or exceed our expectations in terms of cutting-edge technology, quality products and delivery timetables. ZTE continues to satisfy these requirements.
J: As far as I know, Smart PCS has partnered with ZTE to construct the network, what are your major considerations in choosing ZTE as your network equipment partner?

Ortolani: As a new carrier launching its service for the first time, we needed a vendor partner that would offer us mature, state-of-the-art equipment and devices, but at an affordable price point. Again, Smart PCS selected ZTE because of the state-of-the-art technology and equipment that has been provided at very competitive prices. In addition, ZTE has stood behind its product by maintaining a full staff on site to ensure that our launch went smoothly.

J: As a leading Chinese telecom equipment vendor, ZTE has started to spread its wings in the United States since 2002. Would you please give us some suggestions about how we should develop the U.S. telecom market and how we can serve for U.S. carriers like you better?

Ortolani: Continue to provide the quality product and customer care that you now deploy and penetration into the United States will continue to grow. Our experience with ZTE has been very positive and we look forward to working with ZTE on all of Smart PCS' future deployments.

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