Nuance and ZTE Establish Strategic Relationship

Nuance Communications and ZTE—a telecommunications equipment and network solutions provider—today cemented a strategic global relationship that allows ZTE to ship Nuance VSuite and Nuance Vocalizer on its handsets.

According to Mike Thompson, senior vice president and general manager of Nuance Mobile, the partnership was the result of Nuance’s significant investment in China and recent growth at ZTE.
“ZTE made it pretty clear they were looking to invest in speech recognition and text-to-speech,” Thompson says.  “Our relationship has been developed over the last several months and we were able to reach a strategic agreement, which is very exciting.”

ZTE devices will now feature a host of robust speech capabilities. Nuance VSuite enables mobile consumers to speak a variety of commands—everything from simple dialing to launching games and other applications. Nuance Vocalizer provides text-to-speech functionality for text message readout and command confirmation.  The Nuance solutions support more than 40 languages, including U.S. English, Simplified Mandarin Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese

“[VSuite is] the fundamental building block for all of our speech products on mobile phones and ZTE is set up to use those in creative ways for both smart phones and feature phones,” Thompson says, citing ZTE as a big believer in the power of speech recognition and its expanding use cases. 

“There’s just great innovation and great growth potential between the two companies, which is fun,” he adds. 

Echoing Thompson’s comments about innovation is Kan Yulun, CTO of the handset division at ZTE, who said in a statement: "We keep a strong focus on mobile innovation and design in order to meet the various needs of the operators we work with, and the many consumer markets they serve. Working with Nuance enables us to bring the power and simplicity of speech to our broad portfolio of handsets, as they provide flexible solutions that can be easily integrated as part of any mobile platform. Now, we can universally enhance the mobile user experience."

And while Thompson couldn’t comment on any future product announcements from Nuance and ZTE, he sees the relationship moving forward in the coming months.

“We are quite excited about how the relationship will develop and their innovation roadmap and how we’re going to be able to influence and collaborate with them,” he says.  “It’s going to be an exciting path for this expansion.”

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