THE WRAP: Huawei foiled again, BlackBerry goes dark

John C. Tanner
14 Oct 2011

It was the week that saw Huawei blocked from another US tender, as BlackBerry went dark for users in three continents, and flooding in Thailand threatened to disrupt the mobile supply chain.

Huawei’s efforts to grow its US business hit another snag this week as the company was barred by the US government from bidding in the planned Public Safety 700MHz Demonstration Network due to unspecified “security concerns”. Huawei is demanding an explanation for how the decision was reached.

On the bright side, Huawei said this week at a CTIA event that it had succeeded in cracking the US handset market via its white-label strategy. Ovum analyst Jan Dawson agreed, noting that Huawei is in a better position than it was a year ago when it had virtually no presence in the US handset market.

It was a bad week for RIM after its BlackBerry Internet Service suffered an outage on Monday that lasted for days. The service blackout initially affected users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, but reportedly spread to North America by Thursday.

BlackBerry users in Asian markets like India and Singapore also reported service problems (although Australia appears to have been unaffected). NTT DoCoMo reportedly said its BlackBerry service was unaffected for Japan-only communications, but users communicating with other BlackBerry users in affected regions could experience problems.

RIM has attributed the outage to a core switch failure, which also failed to failover to a back-up switch. RIM also said services are being restored, but the backlog of messages that piled up during the outage will mean more delays for some users.

Flood waters in Thailand forced the evacuation of Bangpa-in Hi-tech Industrial Park this week, raising concerns over the impact of the floods on the component supply chains for mobile phones and hard drives. One resident of Bangpa-in is Stars Microelectronics, a specialist in capacitative screens and surfaces that supplies finished touch screen assemblies to the leading handset makers in Taiwan and Korea.

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