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Huawei welcome in NZ, shame about Australia

Banned from the NBN in Australia on security grounds, Huawei will be a major part of the New Zealand equivalent.

Ren Zhengfei, CEO and founder of Huawei, has visited New Zealand and said the country is one of the company’s important strategic markets. No doubt that is because the company has a serious problem being accepted by the Australian and US Governments, and any sign of business as usual with an ally is an indication Huawei is not to be dismissed lightly.

Huawei has been selected to help build a significant part of New Zealand’s 4G and broadband networks. Last month Huawei was chosen to build Telecom New Zealand’s 4G network, which will go live in October. The contract followed Huawei’s selection in 2011 as a core supplier for New Zealand's Ultra Fibre Broadband (UFB) initiative.

Huawei also serves as a key supplier to other major telecommunications operators in New Zealand, and introduced a Maori language smart phone through the 2degrees local mobile network.

“New Zealand is a wonderful, progressive country that actively embraces the introduction of next generation telecoms infrastructure,” said Ren on his visit. “This fosters the digital economy here and these investments will strengthen New Zealand’s global competitiveness and will help create future growth from across the global market.

“The booming digital economy in New Zealand in recent years will help the ICT industry globally to become more diversified, balanced and healthy. Within such a positive environment, Huawei actively cooperates to create and share strategic benefits with our customers.”

Huawei employs 120 people in New Zealand, 90% hired locally. “Huawei intends to employ even more staff and increase its investments in New Zealand. Over the last three years, Huawei’s total direct investment in New Zealand was NZ$139 million. Huawei has also entered cooperation agreements with a number of New Zealand-based companies”

Ren highlighted the importance of addressing one of the key challenges that comes with broadband ubiquity both in New Zealand and globally – cyber-security. “We need to ensure a stable network in any circumstances, especially when earthquakes, tsunamis and other emergencies occur.

When facing the challenge of US network security, Ren said: “Huawei equipment is almost non-existent in networks currently running in the US. We have never sold any key equipment to major US carriers or to any US government agency. Huawei has no connection to the cyber security issues the US has encountered.”


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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.