• United States
Senior U.S. Correspondent

China’s Huawei to sell Avici network gear

Jun 05, 20033 mins
Cisco SystemsSystem Management

A giant in China’s telecommunications equipment business, Huawei Technologies, will rebrand high-end routers from Avici Systems and sell them to Chinese carriers, Avici announced Wednesday.

Huawei, a major supplier for China’s rapidly growing communications networks, will rebrand Avici’s Stackable Switch Router (SSR) and Quarter-rack Scalable Router (QSR) and sell them as part of its lineup for service-provider IP networks, according to an Avici statement.

China is one of the world’s few bright spots for telecommunications network building, so every big manufacturer is trying to get into the market, said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at Yankee Group, in Boston. Avici probably has made a good deal, he said.

“Having Huawei as your distributor there, I think, puts you in the driver’s seat,” Kerravala said. The Shenzhen-based company is one of China’s most prominent homegrown IT vendors, with a workforce of 22,000 and revenue of $2.4 billion in 2001. It has gone up directly against Cisco in some product categories and is even facing a lawsuit by Cisco in a federal court over alleged patent infringement and illegal copying of source code.

On Wednesday, a Huawei spokeswoman in the U.S. denied a report in the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper that the company would exit the U.S. market by the end of this year as part of an out-of-court settlement with Cisco. There has been no settlement in the case and Huawei has no plans to leave the U.S. market, said Huawei spokeswoman Susan Etlinger. Cisco could not be reached for comment.

Avici, in North Billerica, Mass., makes routers that can be linked together in groups that work as one large platform. The QSR fits in a quarter of the height of a standard telecommunications rack and can be fitted with interfaces ranging from OC-3c, or 155M bit/sec, up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet. One QSR fitted with dual route controllers can accommodate eight ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and a system of QSRs can hold as many as 38. The SSR, a half-rack platform for regional points of presence, also uses OC-3c to 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports. An SSR system can hold as many as 40 ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet. The products are complementary to Huawei’s own offerings and are available today, according to the Avici statement.

Huawei makes mobile, fixed-line and optical network gear and in 2002 made about 20% of its revenue through exports. Earlier this year the company formed a joint venture with 3Com, called 3Com-Huawei in English and Huawei-3Com in Chinese. Under that deal, Huawei’s products will be sold in China and Japan under the joint venture’s name and in other countries under the 3Com label. That deal gave Huawei access to 3Com’s distribution channels in the U.S., a boon to Huawei’s export dreams, Kerravala said.