Huawei is to launch a public cloud service for enterprise customers in China, potentially putting it head to head against its operator clients.
But Eric Xu, the company's acting CEO, says China's three network operators don't see it as a threat.
He told a company analyst event in Shenzhen that the vendor had discussed this "many times" with the operators, but currently the public cloud service "does not represent a big part of their portfolio."
Putting a positive spin on the development, he said that if Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. 's cloud service is a success "there may be a possibility for partnerships."
The company isn't releasing any details about the planned service, which is part of its push into the enterprise services space. Currently, it provides a public cloud platform as part of its Telco Cloud portfolio.
Terry Graham, a Hong Kong-based consultant specializing in Asian cloud, said the service allowed Huawei to gain operational experience and feedback that it can parlay into a better technical solution.
"This is a way for them dip their toe into public cloud and allay some of their partners' fears. It's not so much about Huawei competing against them head to head -- that will be years down the road -- but about offering a public cloud service in general," he said in an email to Light Reading.
Separately, Xu welcomed the merger between Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and ruled out the prospect of Huawei joining global connectivity projects being driven by Silicon Valley firms.
"Consolidation is indeed huge news in our industry," he said. "I personally think this outcome is a must, and I hope they can be successful in their post-merger integration. I think the competition between the three strong players can make the entire industry ready for the future."
Xu said Huawei would not be developing drones or balloons to bring the Internet to the unwired, as proposed by Facebook and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG). Instead, he said the telecom industry should be working on bringing down the cost of connectivity. (See Facebook, Google in New Drone Race.)
– Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading