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Managed Services

Huawei Wins Managed Services Deal in Spain

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. added to its credibility as a managed services player today with news of a seven-year deal to upgrade and run the voice network at ONO , Spain's largest cable operator. (See ONO Outsources to Huawei.)

Huawei is deploying softswitches, media gateways, and other IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) elements that will manage the operator's residential and business customer voice services, including interaction with ONO's application servers and the management of the operator's voice-over-broadband CPE (customer premises equipment).

The vendor will also be responsible for the round-the-clock "monitoring activities, workflow management, configuration management, performance evaluation, project management... [and] take care of the engineering processes, planning and quality management."

Huawei will take on 40 ONO staff that run the current voice network. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

For ONO, the move is part of a shake-up of its services, which includes the introduction of a "next generation TV" service for its near 1 million TV service customers. (See TiVo Hopes to Reign in Spain , Nagravision Secures ONO Deal, and ONO Opens Technicolor Gateways.)

The cable operator, which generates about €1.5 billion (US$1.95 billion) in annual revenues from its 1.9 million residential and 68,000 business customers, is facing increasing pressure in the Spanish pay TV market, particularly from incumbent telecom operator Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF). (See Telefónica Tears It Up.)

The revamp follows a debt refinancing program earlier this year. (See ONO Launches Refinancing Plan.)

For Huawei, it's a feather in the vendor's managed services cap. The Chinese vendor is keen to match its key rivals -- Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), and Nokia Networks -- in every significant sector, and managed and professional services is already big business, and growing. (See Ericsson Gets a Brazilian, Ericsson's Services Head Eyes More Growth, Huawei Plays Managed Service Catchup, NSN Services Chief: Huawei's Years Behind, and Services Now 45% of NSN Revenues.)

Currently, Huawei isn't matching its European rivals in landing major outsourcing deals, but it's making inroads with deals such as this one and another in Spain, with broadband operator Jazztel plc . (See Huawei Wins Jazztel Deal.)

According to Huawei, it has more than 100 managed services engagements globally, including deals with Telefónica O2 Germany GmbH & Co. OHG , Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), and Cox Communications Inc. .

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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