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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Huawei

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?