23. Carl Liu - Most Powerful People in Wireless

Carl Liu, executive vice president, Huawei North America

What makes him powerful: In just a few short years, Huawei has risen from an unknown Chinese upstart to the world's third largest supplier of mobile equipment. While Ericsson maintained its market share during the past year, Huawei blew past Alcatel-Lucent to become the world's third largest telecom infrastructure provider. According to research firm Dell'Oro Group, Huawei's share stood at 17 percent in the second quarter, up from 10 percent a year ago, while Alcatel-Lucent saw its market share drop to 12 percent, down from 14 percent in the second quarter of 2008.

Much of that growth likely is attributable to Huawei's focus on acting as the nimble but powerful low-cost provider, challenging established market players like Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks.

Huawei rise is perhaps even more notable in the U.S. market; the company will supply CDMA kit for Cox's wireless buildout, mobile WiMAX equipment for Clearwire's efforts and also is a network vendor to Cricket carrier Leap Wireless. Huawei is even active on the cell phone front, and is in the early stages of supplying handsets to some of the market's smaller carriers.

Thus, based on Huawei's dramatic rise to power from obscurity, the company is surely one to watch in the rapidly changing landscape for equipment and handset kit. --Mike

23. Carl Liu - Most Powerful People in Wireless