Huawei wins US 3G contract: report

Chinese vendor Huawei has won its first US 3G contract and is in the running for another, the Wall Street Journal reports.

It will supply a W-CDMA contract to Cox Communications, who is planning a wireless network to supplement its cable system, and is in the mix to win an even bigger Wimax contract from Clearwire, the paper said.

Clearwire has shortisted Huawei, Motorola, Samsung and Nokia Siemens Networks to supply and build the Wimax system, which is intended to cover 120 million people by 2010, sources close to the bidding said.

Clearwire, who raised $3.2 billion for the rollout last year from Google, Intel and other tech firms, will likely select more than one vendor for its network.

UBS analyst Nikos Theodosopoulos estimated the Cox contract as worth less than $100 million a year. The size of the Clearwire deal is unclear.

A successful bid on either of these projects would represent a significant breakthrough for Huawei. The privately-held firm signed $23 billion in contracts worldwide last year but has never won a major contract from a tier one US carrier.

Its customers worldwide include Vodafone, France Telecom, BT and Bell Canada. Its biggest US contract to date has been with regional cellco Leap Wireless.