Nokia takes fixed-line fight to Huawei in its own backyard

Nokia has taken another step towards a face-off with Huawei, collecting a useful little customer win in the shape of China Mobile.

The announcement builds on an already existing relationship between the two, and will aim to extend ultra-broadband access and intelligent home services to homes across China. As part of the agreement, Nokia’s optical network terminal (ONT) home gateway will support China Mobile’s intelligent home services, while its home gateway will be deployed in fiber networks in 29 provinces across the country.

“This important announcement furthers Nokia’s role as a key technology provider in China,” said Federico Guillén, President of Nokia’s Fixed Networks Business Group.

“Our home gateway solution provides China Mobile with the ultra-broadband access technology they need to capitalize on IoT and deliver new services that support their evolving customer needs. We are very pleased to continue our close work with China Mobile and look forward to helping them deliver on their commitments.”

While Huawei might be running riot throughout the world, seemingly in an effort to wipe Nokia and Ericsson from the history books, the Finn’s aren’t taking it lying down. It certainly is an interesting strategy, but taking on the segments number one player in its domestic market is a bold move.

Over the last few weeks, there certainly has been a bit of momentum gathering for Nokia in the Chinese market. Last month, a new joint venture with China Huaxin was announced which will eventually become the exclusive platform for Nokia in China for areas such as IP routing, optical, fixed and next-generation 5G.

As you would expect Huawei isn’t taking this lying down. Today it announced a deal with Shanghai Telecom (part of China Telecom) to deploy a gigabit network by using 10G PON optical network terminals. This too is all about FTTH and offering data rates in excess of 1 Gbps is a nice headline-grabbing feature, although the actual end-user speeds are likely to be more like a tenth of that.

Some might be sceptical due to the dominance of Huawei, and ZTE to a lesser extent, in the Chinese domestic market, but at least it is nice to see the Noka being a bit proactive in the face of adversity. While Nokia is snapping up competitors (Alcatel-Lucent) and shedding the excess fat (its mobile business), but also simultaneously pushing into a very challenging market, Ericsson just seems to be bumbling along.


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