KDDI considers Romanian investment

There is speculation that Japan’s second largest operator KDDI is about to invest in the Romanian telecoms market as a bridgehead to other countries in central and eastern Europe, underscoring growing Asia-Pacific interest in the region.

KDDI has yet to confirm details of which Romanian IT or telecoms companies it is investigating, following a recent visit to Bucharest by senior executives.

Thomas Streimelweger, CEO of Austrian group S&T, the largest provider of IT services in the region, confirmed in a recent speech that a major Asian company was looking to invest in the country’s market, although he did not specifically mention KDDI.

Vendors ZTE and Huawei meanwhile have declared their interest in the IT and telecoms markets of central and eastern Europe, with ZTE recently picking up a €200 million deal to build a 4G LTE network for Telenor Hungary. Both companies believe there is considerable potential in the region since it is undersupplied with modern network infrastructure compared with western Europe, but has a lower cost base and a highly educated workforce, making it an excellent potential base for data centres and outsourcing services firms. Both companies have said it is easier for them to gain a foothold in central and eastern Europe than in western European markets at present.

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