Huawei, the Chinese upstart, saw a 17.5 percent growth in revenue and a 29 percent upswing in contract sales for the year, despite a grim 2009 for many of the large telecommunications equipment providers. It appears to be winning as carriers meet growing demand for broadband.

Huawei's solar-powered base station

In case anyone is doubting that the shakeout in the telecommunications world will continue even as demand for broadband (and bandwidth) skyrockets, consider Huawei’s reported 2009 revenue of $21.5 billion and contract sales of more than $30 billion. The Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor told Light Reading that it grew contract sales by almost 29 percent and saw revenue growth of 17.5 percent, during a year when most of its competitors have been reporting lowered sales.

Huawei is on a tear, although it expects its contract sales growth to slow in 2010 to about 20 percent, reaching $30 billion. Its competitors, meanwhile, have been cutting their work forces and trying to figure out ways to bolster non-equipment aspects of their businesses as the tectonic shifts in the telecommunications industry ripple through the ecosystem.

Nokia Siemens Network is cutting employees while Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson are trying to derive other forms of revenue from services plays. Meanwhile, Nortel’s assets are in the final stages of getting sold off and Motorola’s equipment arm is touting its WiMAX gear while desperately hoping for some big LTE wins.

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  1. Yup, they are kicking butt. I just got back from Latin America before the holidays and met with several carriers for a software offering I’m selling them. 80% of wireless operators are either using Huawei or upgrading their networks with Huawei products.

  2. China’s Mobile Data Gold Rush Begins – GigaOM Monday, January 4, 2010

    [...] from 2008. Spending in 2010 will decline by 2.4 percent to $6.1 billion, which may be one reason Huawei is less optimistic about its sales growth for the coming year. During the next five years, carrier spending will [...]

  3. Isn’t Huawei the same company that was sued by Cisco for using the Cisco IOS in their products? Sounds like it’s happened again – Chinese company takes v 1.0 of your product and just happens to release v 1.5 shortly after…

  4. Stacey, If Huawei is an upstart, then IBM is the neighbourhood hair salon. I think that description is a little bit of an injustice.

  5. being a chinese myself (am not from China), i am ashamed by these Chinese copycat products. Somehow it is in the chinese culture where profit/money comes first follow by creativity/innovation.

    China is the land of imitations… when are they gonna pour in money into R&D?

  6. Janey I still remember reading about that case. Yes that happened but the company quickly learned its lesson from a rogue employee and is now one of the powerhouses in R&D and innovation of networks in China and Asia in particular. They have a lower-cost base and their quality/technology is the same or exceeds the Western vendors (mainly innovations in ALL-IP transmission amongst other things and experience in Asia where there’s 1+ billion possible consumers). It will be interesting to see how this market plays out in the next few years.

  7. Huawei’s North American Conquest Continues – GigaOM Thursday, February 11, 2010

    [...] American sales by 63 percent to $408 million. The base number is relatively small compared with Huawei’s global contract sales (deals that are signed, but where the revenue has yet to be recognized) of more than $30 billion, [...]

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