Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent to manage Singapore NBN

Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent has been selected to manage and provide infrastructure “assets” to the country’s planned broadband network national next generation (NBN).

The two producers on Tuesday signed an agreement with the operator designated NBN (OPCO), Core Connect.

StarHub’s subsidiary won the tender to operate the active infrastructure of the NBN, providing broadband connectivity to wholesale operators such as intermediate service providers retail (PSR), which then package and resell broadband services consumers.

This “active” sits atop a layer of fiber-based infrastructure, which is being established by a separate network company (NetCos) OpenNet, a joint venture between four companies including Singapore Telecommunications.

Earlier this month, Alcatel-Lucent also won the OSS / BSS provider role with OpenNet.

Speaking at a conference here, Core Connect CEO David Storrie said the agreement Alcatel-Lucent had OpenNet not affect their victory with the OpCo. He said the company “open access” network design was one factor, and added that Alcatel-Lucent won by a “considerable” margin.

Storrie said Alcatel-Lucent initially submitted bids in tenders calling for Connect Core OSS / BSS and network infrastructure providers, but was “found to be stronger in OSS / BSS.” Alcatel-Lucent later partnered with Huawei to stand as a joint bid, he added.

While Core Connect is the “official” NBN OpCo is unlikely to be the only OpCo he said. “I do expect at least another” he said.

“At least a dozen PSR is interested” in the signature to be another NBN OpCo for Singapore, Storrie said, noting the number of RSPs that had signed confidentiality agreements (non-disclosure agreements) to see the Interconnection Offer (ICO) in wholesale prices, as listed by the governor of ICT in the country, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA).

Daniel Tang, chief technology officer of Huawei network line of products, told ZDNet Asia that the contract, Alcatel-Lucent Huawei with Nucleus Connect covers seven years, during which the Chinese network equipment supplier to provide and operate the systems required and the transfer of power to Core Connect staff.

Core Connect will also create two “super headquarters” to house the plant equipment for telecommunications, Tang said in a telephone interview.

Storrie said the size of central office facilities will be determined by the number of service providers that require co-location.

Huawei and Google launch Android 2.2 smartphone

Google and Huawei have announced an Android smartphone that runs the Android 2.2 mobile OS. Huawei says the IDEOS phone is the first mass-market handset to be offered with the Android 2.2 OS preinstalled.

The Huawei IDEOS will over a SIM-free cost tag of between £99 and £129 depending on where it is bought. Huawei is currently in active negotiations with a considerable number of carriers keen to offer the Google-branded tool. The phone is set for “commercial launch” in mid-October in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

The Huawei IDEOS Android smartphone offers 3G HSDPA connectivity as well as 80.11n Wi-Fi. This, explained Nicola Philbin, Huawei’s director for terminals, UK and Ireland, offers web connection speeds up to two times faster than standard Wi-Fi. The phone also supports 3G tethering, allowing it to act as modem for a laptop computer to connect to the net where a Wi-Fi or Ethernet broadband connection is not obtainable.

The Huawei IDEOS smartphone sports a 2.8in QVGA capacitative touchscreen, has a 3.2Mp camera, Bluetooth A2DP and 512MB of internal memory. Jogging a Qualcomm 528MHz processor, the IDEOS handset has its own media player and accepts microSD cards up to 32GB.

The Huawei IDEOS was co-developed by Google and the Chinese hardware manufacturer and is effectively a successor tool to the high-end Nexus One smartphone that Google co-developed with HTC. While the Google Nexus One showcased the Android 2.1 clair version of the mobile operating process and was pitched against the likes of the Apple iPhone, the IDEOS is a mass market handset thats natural rivals are the HTC Desire and Legend.

Preinstalled applications include Google Talk, Google Maps and the Android Market app download service. Since the Huawei IDEOS is equipped with the most recent version of the Android OS, it will support the ability to run applications stored on a microSD card, skilfully getting around the limitations of the handset’s 512MB internal memory.

The HTC Desire handset was the first tool on which the Android 2.2 Froyo upgrade was offered, having originally been sold as a 2.1 clair smartphone. HTC and its partners have come under fire for the tricksy upgrade path for the HTC Desire, caused in part by the Vodafone 360 and Samsung TouchWiz user interfaces overlaid on the standard Android interface.

Cisco vs. Huawei Technologies

Point 1:
Private Chinese companies such as Huawei, by contrast, represent the new digital-triangle model, whereby the military, other state actors, and their numbered research institutes help fund and staff commercially oriented firms that are designated national champions, receive lines of credit from state banks, supplement their R&D funding with directed 863 money, and actively seek to build global market share.

Point 2:
In analyzing the dynamics of the IT sector, it is first necessary to divide the defense portion of the IT sector into two related but distinct categories.

The first includes those subsectors providing the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) with commercial-off-the-shelf IT systems, such as routers, switches, and computers, which have become increasingly central to the digitization of the U.S. military.

Key companies in this category include such red chips (the Chinese equivalent of U.S. blue-chip companies) as Huawei, Zhongxing, Datang, Julong, and the Wuhan Research Institute, all of which are private companies spun off from state research institutes that enjoy national champion preferences within the system.

They are marked by new facilities in dynamic locales, such as southern and eastern China, a high-tech workforce, and infusions of foreign technology.

These firms are not obligated to provide a social safety net for thousands of unemployable workers and their families in rural areas.

Instead, they hire and fire staff using market-based incentives and stock options.

Point 3:
The two most important categories of Chinese IT firms, particularly in dealings with foreign multinationals, are telecommunications equipment and electronics.

Publicly, the major players in telecommunications; Huawei, Datang, Zhongxing, and Great Dragon (Julong) appear to be independent, private-sector actors.

By contrast, many of the electronics firms are grouped under ostensibly commercially oriented conglomerates, such as China Electronics Corporation.

However, one does not need to dig too deeply to discover that many of these electronics companies are the public face for, sprang from, or are significantly engaged in joint research with state research institutes under the Ministry of Information Industry, defense-industrial corporations, or the military.

Indeed, each of the four tigers of the Chinese telecommunications equipment market (Huawei, Zhongxing, Datang, and Julong) originated from a different part of the existing state telecommunications research and development infrastructure, often from the internal telecommunications apparatus of different ministries or the military.

These connections provide channels for personnel transfers, commercialization of state-sponsored R&D (spin off), and militarization of commercial R&D (spin-on).

Point 4:
Huawei maintains deep ties with the Chinese military, which serves a multi-faceted role as an important customer, as well as Huawei’s political patron and research and development partner.

Both the government and the military tout Huawei as a national champion, and the company is currently China’s largest, fastest-growing, and most impressive telecommunications equipment manufacturer.

From: Network World

Why Huawei Wants a Part of 3Com

When it comes to big overseas acquisitions, the Chinese track record is pretty spotty. There have been some big flops – TCL’s deals with Thomson and Alcatel, for instance. Some, like Haier plan for Maytag and CNOOC’s for Unocal, never got off the ground. The best of the lot has been Lenovo’s purchase of IBM’s PC division, and the verdict is still out on that. So what to make of the news that Huawei Technologies is teaming up with Bain Capital in a $2.2 billion deal to take 3Com Corp. private? At first, this seems like a classic case of the Chinese getting suckered into buying something that nobody else wants.

Once, back in the 1990s, 3Com was important in the network equipment business and for a while the company broke out of the business page and into the sports section thanks to its naming rights for the stadium where the San Francisco 49ers played. But the glory days are long gone for 3Com, which has fallen far behind Cisco and hasn’t managed to make money this century.

So why bother? Maybe Huawei execs think that their engineers can learn something from the Americans at 3Com. The two companies did work together in a joint venture that lasted for three years, so the two sides do go back a while together. Last year, 3Com bought out Huawei’s share of the joint venture, for $886 million, and that business in China is today probably the most valuable part of 3Com.

Moreover, Huawei can certainly need the help on the other side of the Pacific. It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the Chinese company as it has tried to make its way into the U.S. Huawei is privately held and its reclusive CEO, Ren Zhengfei, is a former officer in the People’s Liberation Army. In response to questions about ties with the PLA, Huawei officials say repeatedly that there is no connection between the company and the Chinese military, but the company does have an image problem that makes expansion in the U.S. difficult.

That’s one reason that Huawei has been focusing on expanding sales in developing countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. Huawei has also managed to make some inroads in Western Europe. Last year, for instance, Huawei formed a partnership with Vodafone to supply the British cellular operator with Chinese-made 3G phones. (More on that in this BW story from September a year ago.)

The problem is, ZTE, the Huawei rival that also is based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, has making some impressive moves in the U.S., including a deal that it announced a few months ago to sell equipment to Sprint Nextel. ZTE also signed a deal last year to cooperate with Cisco, the company that embarrassed Huawei by taking it to court for alleged intellectual property rights violations. It’s no secret that the Chinese government wants its top companies to be expanding globally, and that includes the U.S. As the top Chinese communication equipment company, Huawei couldn’t sit back and let its next-door neighbor steal a march on it in the U.S.

In a press release from last Friday, Huawei’s CEO emphasized that this deal was about business, not politics. “This is a commercial investment for Huawei. We believe the new ownership structure will help 3Com to improve its business operations, provide better products and services and bring more value to its customer,” the press release quoted Ren saying.

The big question now is whether opposition to the deal builds in the U.S. because of Huawei’s involvement – and what Ren and other Huawei execs are willing to do in order to address those concerns.

From: BusinessWeek