According to the latest news on the Web, the Chinese communications equipment maker Huawei has managed to ink a deal with cable operator Cox Communications to launch a cell phone service this year, and might also make another one with Clearwire for the deployment of the carrier's nationwide 4G wireless network, which would use the WiMAX technology. While until now the company has seen strong competition from Western rivals and national-security sensitivities, it seems that Huawei might finally be able to enter the US market, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The 4G network that Clearwire is working on is expected to be able to provide coverage for around 120 million people by 2010. Currently, the wireless service provider is selecting equipment suppliers that would support it in the deployment of the network. Clearwire was formed last year, when it merged its spectrum assets with those of Sprint Nextel. Before that, Sprint worked on building its own 4G wireless network based on WiMAX, and even selected vendors and suppliers like Samsung and Motorola, yet the new Clearwire network is not connected to Sprint's previous contracts.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, in case Huawei manages to make a deal with Clearwire for a part of its network, it would probably be the largest deal that the Chinese manufacturer scored on the United States market. Up until now, the company managed to make some smaller deals with regional, low-cost cell phone provider Leap Wireless, yet it tried to nail larger contracts in the country.
Back in 2003, Huawei formed a joint venture with U.S.-based networking company 3Com, yet, due to some problems with its business, 3Com announced two years ago that it would be purchased by a private equity firm and Huawei. Due to security concerns, the US government blocked the acquisition last year. Huawei saw a setback due to the failed deal with 3Com, yet the company still managed to move forward in Western Europe and in developing countries by offering equipment at lower prices.
Just to give an example, both Vodafone and France Telecom SA's Orange are using equipment from Huawei. At the same time, the company also provides gear for the deployment of a third-generation wireless network in Canada for Bell and Telus. Given the fact that the economical situation in US is not as good as before, Huawei and other Chinese manufacturers like ZTE have great chances to win in the business, given the fact that they would offer cheaper equipment to service providers in the country.