VEON has signed a global agreement with ZTE to cooperate on network function virtualisation technology and virtual evolved packet core.
Details on the tie-up were scant but under the terms of the agreement, ZTE will become a supplier to VEON, which rebranded from Vimpelcom earlier this year, for NFV.
VEON will then deploy large-scale NFV and vEPC networks in several of its territories, including its native Russia.
A ZTE spokesperson said: "ZTE and VEON will continue to collaborate extensively in the field of virtualisation. ZTE will help VEON to achieve its digital transformation, and improve user experience through the use of innovative technology."
Earlier this year, VEON launched a new platform using data analytics and artificial intelligence to launch new services and improve customer experience.
Group CTO Yogesh Malik told Mobile Europe how the platform would unlock an "ecosystem of microservices", spanning the likes of taxis and logistics.
He said: "The telco model in its current state will not survive. We need to move on. Of course, connectivity is needed but we have to get closer to the customer… and VEON is a platform that enables us to do that.”