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Chinese telecoms manufacturer Huawei may be banned from the NBN, but it has still had a very successful year in Australia.

Huawei has released its Australian results for the financial year ending 31 March. Australian revenues grow 61% over previous year, and the revenues of its Carrier Business Group, which sells to telco, doubled.

Australia revenues of were $368 million, up from $229 million in 2011. Huawei had earlier announced global revenues of US$35.35 billion for the year, which means Australia is around 1% of the global total. Australia is about 2% of the global ICT market, so there is still substantial room for growth.

“Huawei’s financial performance in 2012 is a reflection of the company’s growth in the Australian market,” said Huawei Australia CFO Luke Austin. “We’re now working with all major Australian operators and employ over 700 staff her, 85% of which are locals.

“Huawei continued to push our localisation strategy during the year, with global CEO Ren Zhengfei attending an Australian Board meeting where he announced that local profits would be reinvested in the local business.”

Last year Huawei was banned from supplying the NBN on unspecified security grounds. In the US it and fellow Chinese company ZTE have been banned from all government business, following a damning but vague report from a Congressional Committee which stated, without evidence, that the company was effectively controlled by the Chinese Government.

The Australian report is full of nice pictures and tales of how Huawei is a good corporate citizen in Australia – sponsorship of the Canberra Raiders and the international skateboarding competition and Coldplay concerts and that sort of thing -  and activities of the local Board of Directors – Huawei’s first localised board anywhere in the world.

“Huawei’s technology is now used by all major Australian operators, across both fixed and mobile networks, as well as a growing number of consumers and enterprise customers,” said local CEO Guo Fulin. “Huawei’s success in deploying networks with Australia’s major operators was supplemented by the growth of the Devices and Enterprise Business Groups, both of which have made impressive footholds in Australia, despite being newcomers in an established market.

“Around half of all Australians are now using a Huawei product for some part of their telecommunications needs every day in Australia – a remarkable achievement for a company which has had a local presence for under a decade.”

The report lists a number of major projects delivered in 2012 include:

  • The complete rebuild of a national 2G/3G mobile Radio Access Network (RAN)
  • The delivery of new 4G LTE mobile broadband networks in major regional cities
  • Successful 4G LTE mobile broadband trials in a range of frequency bands with major operators
  • The delivery of new 3G mobile network technology in many capital cities
  • Fixed-line broadband and optical transmission network upgrades and expansions with a number of operators
  • Enterprise networks delivered for a range of Government and private-sector projects
  • Supply of a range of consumer devices with operators and channel partners, including smartphones, mobile broadband devices, tablet computers, and 3G-connected digital photo frames.

Huawei, mobile phone leader in the Chinese market, also entered the Australian smartphone market recently with its Ascend P1.

Huawei has definitely arrived in Australia. As an international company it does not have to reveal its financials or publish a report – but it is working hard at establishing its local credentials. Now, about that NBN security clearance …

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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