Juniper Trumps Cisco's China Deal

Claims the core of China Telecom's IP buildout, while Cisco gets nudged to the edge UPDATED 6PM

November 16, 2004

3 Min Read
Juniper Trumps Cisco's China Deal

China Telecommunications Corp. (NYSE: CHA) has dealt out the contracts for a major IP-network buildout, and, while Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) was first to claim credit, Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) may have even more to crow about.

Specifically, Juniper announced yesterday evening that it had won what sounds like the plum of the contracts: all the core routing for the ChinaNet Next Carrying Network (CN2), China Telecom's next-generation IP network. Juniper also picked up one of four regional-backbone deals handed out for CN2; Juniper's portion covers the south of China (see Juniper Wins China Telecom Deal). Juniper's press release claims the "largest share" of the CN2 deal, but a Juniper spokeswoman says this refers to the different types of networks being deployed, and not to the dollars involved. Juniper, she adds, is not claiming to have won a majority of the money China Telecom will spend on CN2.

Cisco is taking a similar stance. It announced last week it had been named the "primary equipment provider" for the "business network" within CN2 (see Cisco Wins China Telecom Deal). But a spokesman declines to give the basis for this claim or talk about the value of the contract.

All this jockeying for position may have arisen from a scheduling mishap. A source close to Cisco and Juniper, who requested anonymity, says the CN2 contracts were awarded sometime around Nov. 10, with all winning bidders asked to keep the results secret for eight days. Cisco denies this, saying China Telecom gave the press release the green light. "We absolutely got China Telecom's approval," a Cisco spokesman says, adding that Cisco was not asking for special permission to announce earlier than other winners.

The source says Juniper's piece of the deal is worth 55 percent of equipment revenues and Cisco’s is worth 37 percent. The remaining 8 percent of the CN2 revenues will be split almost evenly between Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., which will supply equipment for networks in northwestern and northern China, respectively, according to the source.

These figures ought to be taken with a big pinch of salt. Cisco says the 37 percent share is too low but declines to be any more specific. And as already noted, Juniper doesn't claim to have won the majority of equipment revenues on the project.

Possibly the most interesting contract in the mix is Juniper's core-router win. It seems to imply the company's T320 and T640 beat out Cisco's offerings, which would have included the GSR 12000 and possibly the CRS-1. Juniper also may have beaten out Huawei, which has core routers of its own and also resells routers from Avici Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AVCI; Frankfurt: BVC7). (See Avici Joins Huawei for China Push.)

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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