Huawei Says "Hello, World!"
By Mike Masnick, Fri Dec 10 02:15:00 GMT 2004

Chinese telco equipment provider Huawei has been building up a presence in a few less-attention-grabbing places around the world, but made two announcements today introducing itself to both Europe and the US.

Huawei is far from unknown. Over the last two or three years, it's been getting much more attention around the world -- though not all of it positive. On the whole, however, it's been able to build up business by focusing on markets that aren't as well served by the major European and North American equipment providers -- its home turf in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Last month, there was some talk about how it was getting attention from telcos in Australia. However, for the most part, it was quiet on the European and North American fronts.

That changed today. Huawei announced deals to supply networks to telcos in both Europe and the US. In Europe, it will be supplying Dutch operator Telfort with a HSDPA network and in the US it will be setting up a CDMA2000 1X network for NTCH's Clear Talk, which operates in parts of California and Arizona. Neither deal is very big. However, it does step onto the home territories of companies like Nortel, Ericsson, Nokia and Siemens -- and puts them all on warning that Huawei is definitely looking to creep into their markets.

While many people have been focusing on how the Chinese handset providers are looking to take on their Western counterparts with cheaper phones (often agreeing to hide their own brands in favor of mobile operators), it looks like the backend equipment market is also going to be facing a Chinese challenge over the next few years as well.