Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment maker, is letting Latvian alternative operator Triatel test its cdma-450 solution as a prelude to a possible multi-million dollar deal. If the tests are satisfactory, Huawei has a good chance of getting a contract to build out Triatel's network, which is understood to be limited and based on a Nortel solution.
Sun Gang, a Huawei executive at the company's office in Poland confirmed these facts to this blogger. Gang said the company was in the process of setting up a subsidiary in Latvia, as reported on this blog earlier.
Huawei has at least one earlier cdma-450 project in Europe in Portugal. The company is considered an aggressive newcomer to world and European markets. Competitors such as Ericsson say privately that Huawei has yet to prove it can provide the same level of support and service as established Western suppliers. Competitors are unsurprised that Huawei appeals to operators who look at the list price tag of "the boxes" first. This may or may not be the case with Triatel.
Huawei has also been seeing Lattelekom regarding its plans to use cdma-450 for rural fixed line modernization (using fixed wireless phones).
The big deal?
A major Latvian IT company is close to a big deal IT deal with a large bank from a German-speaking country. This is in addition to a possible deal with a Scandinavian bank that this blog reported earlier. My sources indicate this could be a mega-deal. The financial institution has "an IT budget that is half of Latvia's state budget". It is likely the deal will involve, as one of its elements, the maintenance and modernization of a legacy mainframe-based system.
Watch this blog or my day-job newspaper (for those of you that read Latvian) for news. It could be decided in about a month.