Huawei sends gear to aid Japan repairs

Melissa Chua
21 Mar 2011

Huawei has sent its first shipment of equipment to aid in wireless infrastructure repairs to quake-struck Japan.

According to China Daily, Jessie Pan, a spokeswoman for Huawei, said Friday that the company’s technical staff was also helping its customers with cellular network restoration in the country.

The 11 March earthquake had resulted in crippling network damage for Japan’s top wireless carriers – NTT Docomo, KDDI and Softbank.

NTT Docomo had said in a statement that restoring connections in Japan’s Tohoku region had become ‘difficult or impossible’ in some areas.

NTT Docomo had had some 6,720 sites damaged on 12 March, but had reduced the number to 2,130 on 15 March. The same period saw KDDI restore 2,300 of the 3,800 sites that were damaged.

According to the country’s telecommunications ministry Thursday, 1,896 NTT Docomo base stations remained out of service, while 707 KDDI base stations were not transmitting.

Neither NTT Docomo nor KDDI have confirmed Huawei as their equipment vendor.

Huawei is however a supplier of HSPA+ equipment for Emobile, Japan’s fourth largest wireless carrier. An Emobile spokesperson said less than 1% of the firm’s base stations had been damaged, and could not confirm if the company had received any shipments from Huawei.

Analyst firm IE Research Market says it does not expect its projected figures for Japan’s wireless carriers to change despite the disaster. The analyst firm had predicted ebitda would take up 47.5% of NTT Docomo’s service revenue by 2011, with KDDI and Softbank coming in at 43.4% and 46.1% respectively.

“Our forecasts tend to be conservative, and although the earthquake was a big tragedy, we will not be revising our forecasts based on this one event,” Yui Funayama, a research analyst at IE Research Market, told Telecom Asia. “We don’t think this event is so significant as to alter the Japanese wireless market in the long run.”

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