Preparing for the big win in US

Caroline Gabriel/Rethink Wireless
18 Aug 2009

Huawei looks increasingly hard to beat, as it scores points in all kinds of wireless infrastructure markets. It has won an important US foothold with its Clearwire deal and has added to its growing list of LTE trial sites with a Vodafone agreement in Germany.

Although LTE is in its earliest stages, Huawei and Ericsson are putting clear water between themselves and their rivals, to a greater extent than any vendor managed in the trial phases of the 3G technologies. They top the list of European and Chinese LTE tests, though Motorola is also working on China Mobile's TD-LTE project.

Huawei's latest European trial, adding to projects at TeliaSonera and Telenor, is with Vodafone Germany, which is to test LTE in the digital dividend band (790-862 MHz) this summer using Huawei kit. The tests will focus on assessing rural and urban coverage requirements, and compatibility with technologies such as digital TV and digital radio.

"By cooperating with local telecoms authorities, utilizing the rich LTE experiences from Vodafone Germany and Huawei, we are confident that the test will be carried out successfully," Hartmut Kremling, CTO of Vodafone Germany, said in a statement.

The cellco has already teamed with German public broadcaster WDR and the federal government of North Rhine-Westphalia to test LTE services in rural areas in the region using digital dividend spectrum.

German rival E-Plus also has a pilot, working with Ericsson, in the same band, in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

It can only be a matter of time before Huawei achieves its next key target, a tier one US carrier deal. Although it missed out on the world's first commercial LTE award, at Verizon Wireless, which went to Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent, its price competitiveness - and the problems besetting so many other vendors - should net a US deal in time.

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