Light Reading

Huawei Buys OSS Vendor

Ray Le Maistre

Huawei is about to become a more aggressive player in the global OSS market. It has acquired a telecom network management vendor as part of its plans to become a more significant direct Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) supplier.

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has acquired Fastwire Pte. (a Sydney company that had been owned by Macquarie Bank) and the company's executive team. The price was not disclosed. Fastwire has developed network inventory, fault management, and performance management systems that have been deployed by a range of telcos and other large enterprises, including BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU), Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) (OTC: SGTJY), Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS), Time dotCom Bhd. , and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD).

The catalyst for the acquisition is twofold. Huawei wants to sell more OSS direct to network operators, and it needs more commercial OSS capabilities to support its growing global services division, which generated more than $8 billion of revenue in 2013 and has been growing at more than 23% per year in the past few years.

Dr. Leroy Blimegger, senior vice president of global technical services at Huawei, told analysts and reporters Wednesday at a briefing in London that Huawei has been supplying its OSS systems to telcos via its professional services group, which has installed and run the management software as part of services deals. Huawei intends to start selling OSS systems directly to network operators as commercial products, and Fastwire's portfolio will play a role in that push.

The deal, set to be announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, would also strengthen Huawei's overall proposition in the managed services market, where vendors such as Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Nokia Networks , and Huawei have been landing more SPIT-related systems integration and IT transformation deals that require multi-vendor support.

Ericsson moved significantly into the OSS market two years ago with the acquisition of Telcordia two years ago and followed that up by purchasing ConceptWave. (See Huawei & Yale Start a Cloud and Why Ericsson Wants Telcordia.)

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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Roland Leners
Roland Leners,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/13/2014 | 3:15:32 PM
Re: More aggressive - wow!
Fastwire was very exposed to APAC business and I understand that competition from Chinese based software companies (not only companies of the size of a Huawei) is becoming increasingly intense. Hence there might also a lot of seller rationale to this deal.
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/13/2014 | 12:02:37 PM
Re: More aggressive - wow!
That surprised me too, given that Huawei has been talking up its OSS expertise for a while now. 
User Rank: Blogger
2/13/2014 | 3:26:25 AM
Re: More aggressive - wow!
I must say I didn't know it hadn't been selling its OSS on a regular commercial basis --  and I suspect Huawei has looked at what Ericsson has been doing in tying up its OSS capabilities with its professional services to make a strong combo and realized that's a good idea...

We have been saying for years that service provider IT (SPIT) is critical, right? :-)  
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/12/2014 | 7:11:53 PM
More aggressive - wow!
It's hard to imagine how Huawei could get more aggressive. 
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