Telecom equipment maker Nokia Siemens Networks said on Thursday it has made the world's first call using next generation LTE mobile technology.

The call was made at the company's research and development site in Ulm, Germany, using a commercial base station and fully standard-compliant software, Nokia Siemens said.

It's a proofpoint of the direction we are going to. Our strategy is focused on deployments and being first to the mass market, Marc Rouanne, the head of radio networks unit at Nokia Siemens, told Reuters in an interview.

All telecom equipment vendors are rushing to sell LTE networks to operators as the overall equipment market is shrinking amid fierce price battles and due to operators' slowing investments.

First LTE services will be opened later this year, with mass deployments in 2010, Nokia Siemens said.

The world's telecom carriers are lining up infrastructure vendors as they prepare to launch LTE technology, which will enable faster uploads and downloads of movies, music and other data to mobile devices.

Nokia Siemens has missed out from some first high-profile deals, but Rouanne said the firm has built up a good position, selling LTE-ready base stations -- which can be upgraded with just new software -- to some 80 operators around the world.

Wherever we have deployed LTE-capable base stations it gives us an edge to quickly multiply and deploy LTE networks, he said.

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)