Feeds

Huawei circling NZ’s UltraFast Broadband contract

Buttering up the Kiwis

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Huawei Technologies could soon be named as preferred supplier for New Zealand’s NZ$1.5 billion Ultrafast Broadband Network deployment.

The UFB project, run by government-owned Crown Fibre Holdings, had stalled on its year-old equipment vendor selection, but is understood to be close to an announcement.

The network-in-waiting is set to deliver fibre-optic broadband to over 75 per cent of the New Zealander population within the next ten years.

The Register has been told the Chinese vendor will soon achieve preferred supplier status to Crown Fibre, making it vendor of choice for companies rollout out the 33 city-based networks. Crown Fibre would, however, retain the right to use other vendors bidding into the network, such as Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson.

This time last year, the government and Huawei were hosing down speculation that the vendor had already made significant headway in securing the contract after prime minister John Key retuned from a trip to Shanghai World Expo. At the time, Key Key told TVNZ that the company could play "a major role" in the Crown fibre roll-out.

“They've got a lot of expertise in that area, Huawei is a big player, they're bigger round the world, they've got a huge partnership in the United Kingdom for instance. No one's saying they would be the final selected partner in New Zealand but they've certainly got the capacity if they wanted to, to come in and look at doing something like that.”

Sources close to the deal now claim that Huawei’s place has been solidified via the FTA agreement between New Zealand and China, which would also ultimately help bolster New Zealand’s dairy sector and other export industries.

In the past, Key has stated his preference for joint ventures as the basis for Chinese investment in New Zealand. While opposing direct foreign investments in the country’s agriculture industry he is supportive of joint investments in new agriculture developments in addition to offshore farming ventures.

Yesterday, dairy giant Fonterra announced that it will spend US$40 million developing a new 40 hectare dairy farm in China, its third farming development under the FTA.

New Zealand and China have agreed to double their trade to about $20 billion yearly within five years.

Huawei has been strongly lobbying the New Zealand government over the last 12 months, but some of its efforts have backfired. In September, the vendor held a three day UFB focused event, that included technical workshops, an exhibition, and a day-long conference opened by Crown Fibre Holdings chief executive Graham Mitchell and featuring an impressive speaker line up. However, the vendor was forced to defend its actions after the Labour Party alleged the company had compromised Crown Fibre Holdings board member Murray Milner by hiring him as a consultant. Milner was also a keynote speaker at the event.

Huawai claimed that Milner’s consultancy was engaged for work relating only to retail services and not directly targeting the government's UFB project.

Last month, in Australia, Huawei took steps to localize the company with the creation of a local board decked with high profile political influencers including former Victorian Labor Premier John Brumby, former Liberal party foreign minister Alexander Downer and Royal Australian Navy veteran John Lord as chairman. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.