Another week and Huawei wins another contract with a big western
carrier. This time its Mobistar, the second largest mobile operator in
Belgium and part of France Telecom's Orange group.
If you want the technical details of the contract, then go here,
but the key point for non-techies is that this is the first time
Mobistar has signed up to buy kit from a Chinese equipment provider.
Huawei has also set up a new subsidiary in Belgium to allow it to work closer with Mobistar.
Those critics who two years ago doubted that Huawei et al could win
over the mainstream carriers of the west are having to eat their words.
Not only are Huawei's prices often much cheaper than those of
western rivals, but the Chinese company's reputation is now well
established and it has less problems convincing western carriers that
its “China price” has not been achieved by cutting corners in areas
like reliability, quality and R&D.
Huawei first entered Europe in 2000 and now has branch offices in 26
European countries. It has a a technical assistance centre in the UK,
an R&D centre in Sweden and another in the Netherlands that also
acts as test bed and customer showcase.