Huawei moves up in networking's big leagues

The Chinese networking vendor has jumped into third place, partly on the strength of big deals in China

Huawei Technologies became the third-biggest seller of mobile infrastructure in the world in the first quarter, further expanding its worldwide role on the strength of sales both inside and outside its native China.

The huge communications vendor displaced Alcatel-Lucent to take its place behind global leader Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks in quarterly revenue, according to market research company Dell'Oro Group. Alcatel-Lucent had the fourth biggest sales in the quarter, followed by ailing Nortel Networks. In the top three, Ericsson had 33 percent of the market, followed by Nokia Siemens at 20 percent and Huawei at 15 percent. A year earlier, Huawei had been ranked fourth, with just 8 percent.

The biggest development in the quarter was a set of contracts signed for 3G networks in China, the first such deals in that country. Biggest among these was China Unicom's US$5 billion [b] tender for WCDMA (Wideband Code-Division Multiple Access) base stations. Huawei took the biggest share of this revenue, 30 percent. But the company isn't relying only on contracts in China, nor on low prices, to gain on its international competitors, Dell'Oro analyst Scott Siegler [cq] said.

The majority of Huawei's mobile infrastructure sales have been in Europe, where the company grew dramatically in 2008 and counts Vodafone, Telecom Italia and Deutsche Telekom among its customers, Siegler said. The company also plays in Latin America, though it has yet to make significant inroads into North America.

"It's good technology, and it's a fantastic price," Siegler said.

The competition has adjusted to meet the challenge, according to Siegler. In China as well as India, the world's other huge, fast-growing market, Ericsson has been able to match Huawei's prices through volume, he said. In some recent showdowns for deployments in India, Ericsson came in with the lowest bid. Other Western manufacturers are also starting to match Huawei, Siegler said.

China will dominate 3G spending over the next few years, with three national operators planning $60 billion [b] of tenders after the government delayed the issuance of 3G licenses for several years. That figure includes TD-SCDMA (Time-Division Synchronous CDMA), a technology specific to China that Dell'Oro does not track, Siegler said. Beginning in 2011, Chinese carriers plan to start deploying 4G mobile data networks, with all three operators committed to LTE (Long-Term Evolution). Mobile phones still have less than 50 percent penetration in the world's most populous country, he said.

Foreign equipment vendors aren't being left out of the Chinese bidding, Siegler pointed out. In fact, until recently they dominated infrastructure buildouts at the national carriers, he said. Now both Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese vendor, are picking up steam at home as well as in other countries.

Despite network construction continuing in China and India, the twin juggernauts of the cellular world, equipment makers aren't bringing in as much money, according to Siegler.

"Competition is really driving down prices," Siegler said. Dell'Oro forecasts compound annual growth in revenue of just 1 percent between 2008 and 2013.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Huawei

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?