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Huawei leads the world with 3G contracts boom

HUAWEI Technologies won the most new 3G network contracts in the world last year and its wireless division, including 2G and 3G equipment and services, generated revenue of US$10 billion last year, the country's biggest telecommunications equipment maker said today.

The Shenzhen-based firm will get more deals this year with China starting 3G services in January, and is expected to challenge the market positions of giants like Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent.

In 2008, Huawei got 42 WCDMA (wideband code division multiple access) contracts worldwide, taking the No. 1 position with 40.4 percent of the market share of all new contracts, according to research firm In-stat.

WCDMA is the most widely-used 3G technology in the world and has been adopted by dozens of countries.

Huawei generated revenue of US$10 billion in its wireless division in 2008, compared with its total contract income of US$23 billion last year, the company said.

"We have penetrated the developed region markets, especially in Europe," Huawei said in an email statement.

Huawei has won contracts from top carriers like Vodafone and T-Mobile and signed agreements with Vodafone on 3G networks in Africa and Europe, as well as co-developing 4G, the company said.

Globally speaking, tight telco budgets, weak handset demand and costly credit are forcing vendors to write down assets, announce layoffs, and preserve cash, including traditional giants like Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, according to Matt Walker, principal analyst at research firm Ovum.

Chinese firms, including Huawei and ZTE, will benefit from the demand in the domestic market in 2009, analysts said.

China issued 3G licenses last month and the industry regulator expects 3G related investment will hit 280 billion yuan (US$41 billion) from 2009 to 2011.


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