In Praise of UTStarcom

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A fairly predictable story on UTStarcom, albeit well written, in San Jose Mercury News.

bq. Street sweepers and grandmothers in China are helping a Bay Area telecom company strike it rich. UTStarcom has prospered by selling a low-cost mobile phone system to meet the needs of common people in China. And it has succeeded by blending Silicon Valley smarts, management and money with China’s manufacturing ability and insatiable appetite for phone services.

While a great technology, the PAS system, UTStarcom sells has limited appeal, especially as the cell phone prices continues to tank and back-end infrastructure costs slide sharply.

bq. Four years after its launch, UTStarcom has more than 26 million PAS customers in China, about 60 percent of the country’s total PAS market, which is expected to increase by another 30 million subscribers this year. So far, 800 Chinese cities have deployed it. But that’s dwarfed by the 250 million cell phone users in China, the world’s largest market for wireless phones.

bq. UTStarcom will have to broaden its technology offerings and its geographical reach, warns analyst Joe Noel. The company is now facing competition from companies like Huawei, a leading Chinese telecommunications-equipment maker that recently entered the PAS handset market and is expanding aggressively overseas.

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Charlie Sierra

Didn’t these guys just bought some CDMA know how?

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