Huawei bags 4G LTE contract from Singtel­Optus Australia

Telecom Lead Asia: Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei
has won a major contract with Singtel­Optus to roll out 4G LTE network in the
greater Newcastle area, Austalia.


Huawei to launch full range of LTE devices in Asia and Europe
in July


Recently, Huawei announced that it is planning to launch
new LTE mobile products, including its LTE wireless network card (E3276) and
LTE mobile WiFi (E5776) in Europe and Asia Pacific by July 2012.


The E3276 and E5776 support LTE Cat 4 and offers speeds
that are up to 50 percent faster than LTE mobile broadband devices in the
market, providing up to 150Mbps downstream speed in LTE FDD format, and 112Mbps
downstream speed in LTE TDD format.


Telstra’s NextG network typically delivers download
speeds of up to 8 megabits a second. 4G can provide speeds that are five times
faster at 40 megabits a second or more.


The upgrading of telco networks throughout Australia is
important as millions of users download rapidly increasing amounts of data
using smartphones and tablet computers such as the iPad.


Despite a major public relations push, Huawei has not won
any contracts with Labor’s $36 billion national broadband network.


The 4G win puts Huawei in prime position to win a big
portion of Optus’s national upgrade to 4G, which is expected to start within 12
to 24 months and cost up to $1 billion, according to media reports.


Optus will switch on LTE 4G networks in Sydney, Melbourne
and Perth from the middle of 2012. Huawei’s network covering Newcastle, Port
Stephens, the Hunter Valley and Lake Macquarie will start in April.


Industry sources expect Huawei’s rivals, including Nokia
Siemens Network and potentially Ericsson, to win contracts to build 4G networks
in other locations to test their ability to roll out national networks.


We do expect Optus to have significant cost savings by
using the lower 700Mhz band because you cover more area with fewer [cell
towers] so it could end up costing $650-700 million. Huawei also costs much
less than rivals like Ericsson,” said Frost and Sullivan mobile and wireless
communications analyst Marc Einstein


Telstra, Optus and Vodafone are upgrading their networks
for 4G. Optus would use the same technology platform as Vodafone in Newcastle.
Huawei is responsible for the entire upgrade, from sourcing equipment to
installing it and managing the sites.


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