China’s largest telecommunications operator China Mobile has awarded half of its 5G network equipment contracts to Huawei Technologies, in a boon for the Chinese telecoms giant after being squeezed in overseas markets by a US decision to add it to a trade blacklist.
Huawei will provide 49 per cent of the MME/SGSN equipment and 54 per cent of the SAE-GW/GGSN equipment – two types of core network equipment needed for the operation of ultra-fast 5G networks – to China Mobile, according to the results of a tender posted on the telecom operator’s website.
Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia bagged 34 per cent and 12 per cent of the MME/SGSN equipment orders, as well as 34 per cent and 9 per cent of the SAE-GW/GGSN orders respectively. ZTE Corp, Huawei’s crosstown rival in Shenzhen, was awarded 5 per cent of the MME and 3 per cent of the SAE 5G equipment orders.
“We have set up a fair and transparent procurement policy and potential vendors have to go through a vigorous tender process,” said China Mobile in an emailed response to a request for comment. “We have considered factors such as price, product quality and customer service in arriving at the final decision. Huawei is one of our major long-term suppliers and over the years it has consistently provided us with exceptional products and services.”
The company added it would continue to work with both domestic and international suppliers.
On June 6, China granted commercial 5G licences to the country’s three telecommunications network operators and the nation’s cable network giant, signalling major new investments in the world’s largest mobile market amid a raging tech war with the United States.
The award of the 5G licences came after the US government put Huawei on a trade blacklist last month, which has severed the Shenzhen-based company’s access to American hi-tech suppliers, including semiconductor firms Qualcomm and Intel as well as software providers Google and Microsoft.
“Huawei is fully prepared” for the roll-out of commercial 5G networks in China, the company said in a statement after China granted the 5G licences.
Huawei declined to comment on China Mobile’s announcement today.
Hong Kong-listed China Mobile, Unicom and China Telecom currently buy their network equipment from multiple suppliers, including Nokia and Ericsson. The technological advances made by Huawei and ZTE, however, have enabled them to expand their share of the market among China’s leading carriers over the past two generations of mobile systems.
Huawei announced earlier this month that it has obtained 46 commercial 5G contracts from 30 countries. Ericsson and Nokia have publicly announced they have secured 21 and 43 5G commercial contracts respectively. ZTE has not disclosed its recent 5G contract figures.
Source: The South China Morning Post