BT: Huawei's Still in 21CN Access

BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has categorically denied rumors sweeping the financial community that Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is being ousted from the access portion of the carrier's £10 billion (US$19.5 billion) next-generation network, the 21CN.

Wall Street analysts are hearing that the Chinese vendor's MSAN (multiservice access network) gear is no longer being deployed by BT in the 21CN, which is in the early stages of being built out. (See BT Turns On 21CN, IPTV.)

But BT's Wholesale division, which is running the 21CN project, has categorically denied that Huawei is no longer involved in the high-speed access portion of the NGN rollout. "Any suggestion that Huawei is out of 21CN is misinformed. The company continues to play a full and active role in 21CN access," says Joe Kelly, BT Wholesale's communications director.

That official line was backed up by industry executives with intimate knowledge of the 21CN process. Huawei could not be contacted immediately for comment.

Huawei is one of the eight 21CN preferred vendors named by BT and is supplying access and optical transport equipment. (See BT Unveils 21CN Suppliers and Huawei Picked for BT's 21CN.)

BT's other 21CN access technology partner is Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd. Access gear from both MSAN vendors is believed to be in commercial use in South Wales, where the first BT customers have been switched over from the PSTN to the new network.

The financial community is keeping a close eye on developments at BT as many of the companies they follow are either involved in the high-profile project or are waiting in the wings in case a new 21CN opportunity emerges. Nortel Networks Ltd. is the latest name added to the elite list of 21CN vendor partners. (See Nortel, Siemens Win PBT Deals at BT.)

Should an additional access equipment opportunity arise with the U.K. incumbent carrier, the most likely candidates to join Fujitsu and Huawei in the access portion of 21CN are Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), an incumbent supplier of ATM-based DSLAMs in BT's current broadband network, and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), which acquired Marconi in October 2005. According to sources within BT, Marconi's DSLAMs were rated very highly by the 21CN testing team, but the vendor failed to win any 21CN business. (See Ericsson Buys Bulk of Marconi and Marconi in Turmoil.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

trzwuip 12/5/2012 | 3:14:31 PM
re: BT: Huawei's Still in 21CN Access At Huawei they have a saying

"Enough shovels of earth -- a mountain. Enough pails of water -- a river." Just wait my good friend, just wait.
commsguru 12/5/2012 | 3:14:31 PM
re: BT: Huawei's Still in 21CN Access How wrong could you possibly be!!! You obviously have no idea what's really going on inside BT21CN at the moment, and how Fujitsu are NOT delivering.

I think the Huawei people are sitting quietly very happy right now.
kentishman 12/5/2012 | 3:14:31 PM
re: BT: Huawei's Still in 21CN Access It seems that although BT have selected two suppliers (Fujitsu and Huawei) only one is getting significant business. This is what insiders are telling me.

This is how it always used to be with BT they would select two suppliers, play one off against the other to get the price right but after that it was down to performance. If you performed well you got the orders. Sounds like Fujitsu are the ones who are delivering on their promises.
kentishman 12/5/2012 | 3:14:22 PM
re: BT: Huawei's Still in 21CN Access From the perspective I have it depends on how much you lose or make on every line sold.

I suppose if the price is being subsidised it is not a problem but can that go on for ever?

To me the 21CN MSAN prices look like they are about the cost of the components used. Anyone have a take on that?
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