Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. might be fighting a credibility battle in Australia but in close neighbor New Zealand there are no concerns about the deployment of its technology in state-of-the-art networks.
Incumbent operator Telecom New Zealand has chosen the Chinese vendor's radio access network (RAN) gear for its 4G/LTE rollout, saying that it plumped for Huawei because, along with extensive 4G experience around the world, the vendor is "pushing the boundaries of LTE technology."
That's great news for Huawei, but bad news for Alcatel-Lucent. Here's why.
In a press release announcing the telco's intention to launch LTE-based services in October this year -- months later than rival Vodafone, which began offering 4G in February -- Telecom NZ CTO David Havercroft said that it has been testing Huawei's RAN equipment for the past three months and was very impressed with "exciting new developments like 'carrier aggregation'. Carrier aggregation allows us to use two different spectrums simultaneously, and in our trials it produced maximum peak speeds of up to 250Mbps … While such technology is some way from launching commercially, it is very exciting to be working with a technology partner who has this level of capability, and a massive commitment to research and development that we can bring to New Zealand."
That's a real boost for Huawei, joined in the 4G rollout by Cisco Systems Inc., which is providing the evolved packet core (EPC) for the management of 4G traffic and Ericsson AB, which is supplying key subscriber databases -- the HSS (Home Subscriber Service) and a new HLR (Home Location Register).
But it's a blow for Alcatel-Lucent, the incumbent supplier to Telecom NZ for the operator's 3G network. AlcaLu was in the running to add 4G to its existing engagement, having showcased LTE's capabilities with the New Zealand carrier, but was trumped by Huawei. (See NZ Telecom Showcases LTE With AlcaLu.)
Of course, there's also likely to be some competitive pricing involved that helped Huawei over the line, but AlcaLu is pressing its 4G credentials hard these days and will find the snub hard to take. (See MWC13 Hot Network Techs: Alcatel-Lucent.)
— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading