Report: Huawei getting more aggressive on OSS, buys Fastwire

Huawei is planning to start selling operational support systems directly to telcos and has acquired Australian OSS provider Fastwire as part of the new focus, according to a report.

During a briefing in London with reporters and analysts, Leroy Blimegger, Huawei's senior vice president of global technical services, indicated the vendor is creating a direct OSS sales channel to serve network operators. Previously, Huawei's professional services group was responsible for deploying OSS platforms in conjunction with broader services deals.

Huawei's OSS solutions have only been "sold internally," but now the vendor wants to show that it is "not just developing tools our teams can use, but also our customers," said Blimegger, who was quoted by Computing.

As part of its expanded vision for direct-to-carrier OSS sales, Huawei acquired Fastwire for an undisclosed price, according to Light Reading, which said the deal is slated for announcement during the 2014 Mobile World Congress later this month.

A Huawei spokesman initially told FierceWirelessTech the company had "no comment to make" regarding the report. However, on Feb. 14, 2014, the company released this statement: "Huawei has acquired Fastwire, an Operational Support Systems (OSS) company, to enhance our OSS inventory management and professional service solutions for our carrier customers."

Fastwire, based in Sydney, Australia, was founded in 1998. It provides advanced technology network infrastructure and OSS products to large enterprises and telcos. Fastwire's website lists BT, China Unicom, Orange, Telstra and Vodafone among its many customers.

In January, Huawei reported that the proportion of revenue from services and software in its carrier network business increased to 37 percent in 2013 from 34 percent in 2012. The services organization at Huawei is relatively new compared its competitors but has grown rapidly. Through 2012, Huawei's services business had recorded 75 percent compound annual growth over five years.

In related news, Huawei and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Solutions and Networks confirmed they have formed a cross-license agreement for an OSS Interoperability Initiative (OSSii). Under the pact, the companies will cross-license their proprietary Element Management System (EMS) interfaces. The two companies have also defined interoperability testing practices.

"This agreement will bring a whole new level of agility to multi-vendor integrations," said Peter Patomella, vice president for CEM and OSS at NSN.

In May 2013, the vendors signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the OSSii. Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) was also part of that MoU, which the companies said at the time would set the stage for "bilateral cross licensing agreements."

Ericsson significantly raised the profile of BSS/OSS products with its $1.15 billion acquisition of Telcordia in 2012, which put the spotlight on telcos' growing need for sophisticated back-office tools that enable them to provision and manage all aspects of the services they provide to customers.

For more:
- see this Light Reading article
- see this Computing article
- see this NSN release
- see this Huawei release

Related articles:
Ericsson still sits atop the heap in managed services, says ABI
Huawei: Telcos should focus on value creation rather than savings
Ericsson, Huawei, NSN team for OSS interop
Network equipment vendors rake in service revenues
Infrastructure vendors bank on a future in software and services

Article updated on February 15, 2014, to include an additional comment from Huawei.