Think local

Huawei’s networking products are having a marked impact on its expansion in the Middle East and other areas; the Chinese vendor is also working to establish itself as a local player.

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By  Tawanda Chihota Published  August 1, 2006

|~|jiading200.jpg|~|Huawei’s VP of Middle East Wang Jiading says his company is in search of corporate citizenship in markets outside of its own domestic market. |~|Sales from Huawei’s wireless business became the largest portion of its US$8.2 billion income last year, and while this area of its business continues to enjoy rapid expansion, IP-based networking solutions offered by the Chinese equipment supplier remains a significant business area. The Middle East and Africa region is an important one to Huawei, accounting for approximately US$1 billion of Huawei’s sales last year, and continuing to grow rapidly. References from other parts of the world in which Huawei has scored successes are being highlighted in the MEA region and helping to leverage the vendor’s position with operators and enterprises in the region. Last month, for example, Huawei announced it had been selected as the sole winner of a bid to build an IP DSLAM broadband access and broadband bearer Metro Ethernet network for OTE in Greece, marking the beginning of a strategic collaboration between the two companies. Huawei is set to provide OTE with ADSL2+ IP DSLAM access equipment of 200,000-line capacity and Metro Ethernet equipment to build approximately 100 nodes in Greece’s two largest cities, Athens and Thesalonniki. Based on this new network, OTE will be able to provide its residential users with high-speed internet access, and IPTV services in the future. It will also provide Ethernet private-line service to group customers, such as government, enterprises, and banks. “Perhaps our very first entry into the international market dates back to 1996, but at that time it was very difficult and the beginning of the development of our global footprint only started around 1998 or 1999” explained Wang Jiading, Huawei’s vice president for the Middle East and North Africa region. Helping to drive Huawei’s international expansion strategy forward is a commitment to partnering with players within the industry in order to gain strategic and market advantages that the Chinese supplier on its own may have had difficulty in achieving. “Huawei has always been willing to cooperate with companies and competitors – it is quite an open organisation,” commented Jun Fu, Huawei’s corporate spokesman and director of corporate communications. “Being a private company, it is sometimes difficult to leverage large amounts for large acquisitions, so we are open to partner,” he added. An early example of such cooperation is Huawei’s joint venture with 3Com, Huawei-3Com, which dated back to November 2003 and was established to achieve worldwide IP networking market leadership by providing global customers with a full range of networking products and solutions. The company seeks to offer fast, responsive and customised product development and offers a full portfolio of IP-based networking solutions, including enterprise routers, switches, security, SOHO products, voice and video products and wireless LAN.||**||

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