Huawei Builds Euro Backbone
The Chinese vendor has already had some foot-in-the-door success with operators in Western Europe, such as BT Group plc (NYSE: BTY; London: BTA) and Fibernet Group plc (London: FIB). And it claims to have equipment in use by all the major incumbent national operators in the region (see Huawei Gets BT's Blessing and Huawei Springs Surprises).
Now a source involved with this latest network says Huawei is the sole supplier of core switches for a 14-POP network expansion covering at least Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. The construction was completed by German integrator Vierling, which says the network is already live, and that the main POPS are in Frankfurt, Munich, Prague, Bratislava, and Vienna.
The identity of the carrier, though, has not been revealed, and Huawei declines outright to talk about the project.
Nick McMenemy, head of strategy and business-critical operations at pan-European operator Interoute Telecommunications, says his company isn't the buyer. He's been crawling over network assets and ongoing operations in that part of the world recently looking for network assets to buy on the cheap, a practice that has become commonplace in Europe (see Cogent Adds to Euro Empire, Linx Links the Baltics, and Interoute Acquires Ebone).
McMenemy says Interoute is only expanding through acquisitions, rather than new network expansion, as there are plenty of assets available to buy, it's cheaper, and it's a quicker way to get up and running in a new market.
McMenemy's comments, though, imply that whoever the carrier is, it is likely running a healthy business to be able to afford outright expansion. "It only makes sense to build out if you know you'll have revenues greater than the cost of building and running the network -- you have to make a profit," he says. "The days of build-and-they-will-come are over, thank goodness. It's about building to demand these days."
— Ray Le Maistre, International Editor, Boardwatch