Say Wah Way

10:50 AM -- Price competition from China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has added to the woes of traditional telecom suppliers like Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Nortel Networks Ltd. . Are cable vendors next?

Cable MSOs are known to be, shall we politely say, "financially prudent with their vendors."

What could be more tempting for MSOs than engaging with Huawei to squeeze further savings from their suppliers?

In an effort to beef up its cable industry presence, Huawei recently added Christopher Skarica as CTO for its North American Cable MSO Team. (See Huawei Names Cable CTO.)

Skarica recently served as VP of engineering at Lindsay Broadband Inc. , a manufacturer of RF distribution products. Before that, Skarica worked at Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), thanks to its acquisition of video-on-demand startup Broadbus Technologies, where he served as VP of technical sales. Prior to Broadbus, Skarica was chief technology advisor for Nortel's global cable MSO solutions team. He landed the Nortel gig after many years in engineering management with Canadian MSOs like Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE: RG; Toronto: RCI) and Cogeco Communications (Toronto: CCA)

While its U.S. operations are based in Plano, Texas, Huawei job postings show the company is staffing a Philadelphia office. What's on Huawei's cable MSO menu? Metro optical, IP NGN, and IMS solutions top the list. Conveniently, Huawei is also a WiMax and IPTV infrastructure supplier.

Can Huawei make inroads with North American MSOs? We'll be watching.

— Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News

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