To the increasing worry of European-based infrastructure vendors, the Chinese electronics manufacturer, Huawei, has won a contract from O2 Germany to install some 8,000 base stations. This is the second contract Huawei has racked up in Germany in as many months; in December T-Mobile International engaged the Chinese firmÂ to provide next generation packet switched core networks infrastructure in five European countries: Germany, the U.K., Austria, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.
O2 Germany originally contracted with Nokia and Nortel for its GSM infrastructure kit. The base stations supplied by Nortel were later replaced by Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks. While no official statement has been released, it is believed the Huawei equipment will be installed in Southern Germany.
However, all is not plain-sailing for Huawei. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. has extended its investigation by 45 days into a deal that would see Bain Capital and Huawei Technologies takeover 3Com. Investigations typically last for 30 days and are not often extended.
The Committee is apparently concerned that there may be national security implications in letting the US$2.2 billion takeover go ahead. Last year Australia, the U.S., France and the U.K. all blamed the Chinese government for hacking attacks on government computers.