Huawei: IPR gains, Indian losses, but what about AT&T?

Caroline Gabriel, Rethink Wireless
08 Sep 2009

In the turbulent world of wireless and converged infrastructure, the spotlight has been firmly on Huawei this year.

The Chinese firm is leveraging its economies of scale, financing capabilities and now its rapid progress in next generation networks (LTE and Wimax) to pose a serious challenge for number two position in the market, and even Ericsson cannot sleep easily.

The week started with mixed news for Huawei - an aggressive statement of its patent position in LTE, followed by talk of India barring Chinese suppliers from telecoms deals.

And the billion-dollar question - as AT&T finally announced its list of preferred equipment suppliers, anointing Ericsson in its wireline access unit, has Huawei made it to a tier one US carrier's roster yet?

AT&T has, as promised earlier this year, reduced the number of equipment vendors on which it will rely, selecting two preferred suppliers for each of 14 “domains” or business areas.

So far, it has remained tightlipped on the identities of its favorites, with one exception - Ericsson has declared it has taken a slot in the landline division.

This is a huge boost for the Swedish giant in two areas where it has traditionally struggled to make impact - the north American territory and wireline networks.

The company has made major progress in the former this year - gaining part of Verizon Wireless' high profile LTE award and a massive outsourcing deal with Sprint Nextel - and its position will be further boosted by its acquisition of Nortel's CDMA and LTE technologies and customer base.

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