It was a win for the old school on Wednesday when Nordic carrier TeliaSonera announced Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) as its suppliers of LTE equipment. The news was particularly good for Swedish vendor Ericsson, which had been faced with the danger of Huawei planting a flag in the Swede’s own back yard.
In mid-December, Ericsson was most upset when the Telenor/Tele2 joint venture Net4Mobility tapped up Huawei to provide LTE kit in Sweden. In fact, Ericsson was moved to issue a statement proclaiming its disappointment to have missed out on a deal with local customers. But, the firm said, it just couldn’t compete with the Chinese player on price.
“We are of course disappointed that we did not manage to reach an agreement with Net4Mobility, joint venture by Telenor and Tele2 in Sweden. We would very much liked to have delivered this LTE network in our home market. In the negotiation process we went as low as we could in terms of price but it was not enough,” the company said at the time.
No doubt that statement was delivered through gritted teeth, given that Ericsson was already smarting from Huawei’s bragging about the superior performance of its test LTE network, set up for TeliaSonera in Oslo, Norway, in the same month. “Huawei[‘s network] in Oslo for TeliaSonera reached 96 Mbps, as compared to a rival network in Stockholm [Ericsson’s] that recorded speeds of only 43-44 Mbps,” Huawei said. The Chinese firm’s bragging rights were somewhat curtailed by the fact that Huawei’s network operated in twice as much spectrum as Ericsson’s.
So Ericsson could barely contain its glee at being awarded the TeliaSonera contract. The Swedish vendor will provide the common LTE core network in Sweden and Norway, with the radio networks delivered by both Ericsson and NSN. TeliaSonera’s current LTE networks cover the central city areas of Stockholm and Oslo, with roll out due to continue to Sweden’s 25 largest municipalities and Norway’s four largest municipalities during 2010 and 2011.
As a market leader in managed services, the Swedish firm hasn’t been gloating directly, choosing instead to outsource its crowing to a local journalist. Ericsson has been sending around a translation of this journalist’s report on the deal which itself cites research from Swedish analyst Market Action Point. This research, it is claimed, “showed clearly that Ericsson’s LTE equipment (4G) is technically superior [to] Huawei.”
The report continued: “It seems as if Huawei ha so far not launched a commercial LTE solution, and they are using proprietary solutions for each client. This makes the system technically unstable and unwieldy.”
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