Huawei deal puts firm on the UK map

 
Steve Dinneen
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HUAWEI yesterday announced a deal to enhance the 2G network of Everything Everywhere, a move that brings it closer to realising its ambition of becoming a major player in the UK.

The four-year contract with the combined T-Mobile and Orange venture will allow faster mobile services over the network. It will allow Everything Everywhere to remove duplicate sites following the merger.

The deal also places Huawei in pole position to win the contract to upgrade the network for 4G after the government auctions off slices of mobile spectrum.

The two firms have not said how much the contract is worth but it is understood to run into hundreds of millions of pounds.

It will involve replacing up to 10,000 base stations as well as other infrastructure.

Huawei UK chief executive Victor Zhang said: “We are committed to becoming a serious network supplier for mobile operators in the UK.

“We will offer future-proofed technology that will improve voice quality and network coverage.”

Huawei has been keen to develop its UK business, meeting with UK trade minister Lord Stephen Green at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.

Its bid to supply infrastructure to a London Underground mobile network – which was dogged by accusations over Huawei’s links to the Chinese military – fell through.

HUAWEI | THE CHINESE FIRM’S UK DEALS

BT 21c Network
It signed a deal in 2005 with BT for the deployment of its next generation multi-service access network and transmission equipment for BT’s 21st Century Network.

2G upgrade
It yesterday unveiled a four-year deal to enhance Everything Everywhere’s 2G network, thought to be worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

London underground mobile network
Huawei was involved in the failed bid to bring mobile reception to the London Underground in time for the 2012 Olympics. It had offered a £50m “gift” to London as the next city to host the Olympic Games after Beijing. However, the task was more difficult than previously expected and the deal fell through earlier this year.