Chinese vendor Huawei has scooped its first radio access network deal in Australia with Vodafone, dealing a big blow to incumbent vendors Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks.
Under the deal, Huawei will replace Vodafone's entire 2G/3G network with its SingleRAN solution, which can accommodate 2G, 3G and LTE technologies in a single base station.
It was not a surprise that Huawei, as a price leader, was on the shortlist for this contract. But it is surprising that Huawei has ousted Vodafone's long-standing vendors. Price has played a key part in this decision.
Vodafone is not out of the woods yet. This network overhaul is long overdue, and Vodafone and Huawei will need to proceed quickly to deploy the network infrastructure, which includes 42Mbps HSPA+ at 850MHz, to address Vodafone's network capacity issues. While LTE will launch at 1800MHz by year-end, the completion of the network swap out is still some 18 months away.