Huawei Said to Win Its First U.K. Mobile-Phone Equipment Order
Huawei Technologies Co., China’s largest phone-network equipment maker, is close to announcing a wireless network order from Everything Everywhere, the U.K. joint venture between Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE) and France Telecom SA (FTE), said two people with knowledge of the matter.
A deal, which would be the Chinese company’s first major wireless win in the U.K., may be announced on May 9 from Shenzhen, China, where Huawei is based, said the people, who declined to be identified before a press event.
Huawei won part of a contract with BT Group Plc (BT/A) for fixed- line broadband gear in 2005. The company was also vying to build a mobile-phone network this year on the London Underground in time for the Olympic Games in 2012 before the operators ended the project. Huawei had agreed to donate some of the equipment as part of the deal.
Yingying Li, a U.K.-based spokeswoman for Huawei, declined to comment. Everything Everywhere also declined to comment.
Chief Executive Officer Ren Zhengfei, who founded Huawei in 1987, built the company into the world’s second-largest maker of equipment for mobile-phone networks, behind Ericsson AB. After starting off in China’s rural communications market and then expanding that strategy through Asia and Africa, Ren is now looking to boost sales in Europe and the U.S. to further close the gap with its Swedish rival.
Huawei said last month that it planned to double its workforce in the U.K. to 1,000 people over three years as it expands its handset unit and seeks corporate clients. The company is also seeking to gain customers for high-speed fourth- generation mobile services.
Everything Everywhere, which operates the T-Mobile and Orange brands, became the largest mobile-phone company in the U.K. after a merger of the U.K. units of Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom in 2009. The company had 27.7 million customers at the end of March, after losing 155,000 users as it shifted customers to longer contracts.
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