Huawei to set up Australian board

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Huawei to set up Australian board

Reveals 2010 deals with TPG, Primus, AAPT, Powerlink.

Huawei will create an Australian board of directors to run its local business, appointing an executive headhunter to locate three independent local directors.

The Chinese networking vendor said today it had engaged Egon Zehnder to locate prospects for the board.

The board's make-up was expected to be announced in about two months.

One of the three local directors to be appointed would act as chair and have the casting vote, according to Huawei's public affairs spokesman Jeremy Mitchell.

Also on the board would be representatives from Huawei's Australian, regional and corporate headquarters.

Mitchell said the board would "drive sales [and] business direction" and was a central plank in the vendor's "localisation" strategy, which it credited for its rising star status.

He said that a key learning of Huawei's global expansion was that "you get better results by having local strategies".

"When you have staff and management in-country, you can set the business strategy three-to-five years forward much better than setting it from headquarters," Mitchell said.

The only other country where Huawei had set up a local board was France; however, the French board had only one local director in its make-up, Mitchell said.

2010 deals with TPG, AAPT, Primus...

Huawei's major breakthrough in Australia came in February when Vodafone Hutchison Australia announced it would replace base station equipment at all 5,800 existing 2G and 3G sites with Huawei gear.

The vendor also lined up a series of previously undisclosed deals in the past financial year with TPG, Powerlink, AAPT and Primus.

The Powerlink deal was for equipment for its dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) network [pdf], which connected Brisbane to Townsville and Cairns.

Huawei lined up deals with TPG and Primus that included the vendor's next-generation IP DSLAMs.

The vendor had also picked up some work on AAPT's Metro Ethernet project and was "talking to them about long-haul" projects, according to Huawei CTO Peter Rossi.

Mitchell said Huawei still hoped to be awarded work from NBN Co, either for GPON or fixed wireless systems, although the success of the business locally was not predicated on picking up work in the project.

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