BSS (inc. billing, revenue assurance)

Look Out Europe…

6:30 AM -- Does this sound familiar? A Chinese technology vendor builds a significant business with China's main telecom operators and then looks to expand overseas by targeting major operators in Western Europe.

That's how network infrastructure Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. began its global expansion journey more than a decade ago and now it's on the cusp of becoming the biggest telecom vendor in the world. (See Huawei's Margins Squeezed in 2011.)

And now AsiaInfo Inc. (Nasdaq: ASIA) is following suit in an effort to become a global Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) force, a move it signaled in 2009 when AsiaInfo and Linkage merged. (See Chinese Firms Create OSS Giant.)

Its domestic business is enough to make it one of the biggest telecom software vendors in the world. The company generated revenues of US$481 million and net income of $74.6 million in 2011, mainly from billing, customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence software deals with China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL), China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA) and China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU), though it has won business elsewhere in Asia/Pacific. (See AsiaInfo Wins Convergent Billing Deal and AsiaInfo Lands SPIT Deal in Malaysia.)

AsiaInfo-Linkage's first step into Europe will be to open its European headquarters in Cambridge, U.K. following the hiring of several executives who formerly worked at billing specialist Geneva, which was acquired by Convergys Corp. (NYSE: CVG) in 2001. At the same time the company is making an appearance at the Management World 2012 show in Dublin next week.

Clearly, hiring some seasoned executives and showing up in Europe isn't enough to fill an order book. We'll be hoping to get some insights into the company's international expansion plans during the Dublin event.

Setting up in Europe isn't the only thing keeping Asia-Info Linkage busy at the moment. It's currently the subject of a takeover bid by private equity firm CITIC Capital China Partners II, L.P. and is in the process of seeking alternative bids. (See AsiaInfo-Linkage Seeks Bidders.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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