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Huawei outed by Key as possible UFB technology provider

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, July 12 NZPA - Chinese technology company Huawei has been outed as a potential technology partner in the Government's $1.5 billion ultrafast broadband (UFB) initiative by Prime Minister John Key.

Mr Key said on Television New Zealand's Q and A programme at the weekend that Huawei had expertise in the area of ultrafast broadband.

"Huawei is a big player, they're bigger round the world, they've got a huge partnership in the United Kingdom for instance.

"No one's saying they would be the final selected partner in New Zealand but they've certainly got the capacity if they wanted to," Mr Key said.

Luke Coleman, an Australian-based Huawei spokesman currently in China, declined to name who Huawei has talked to in New Zealand.

Huawei is seen as a potential technology supplier to a bidder for the network. It already has 2degrees and Vodafone as customers in New Zealand.

Huawei is believed to have met with Crown Fibre Holdings and a number of bidders for the network and to have shown some bidders what it has achieved in other markets.

Huawei is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shenzhen Huawei Investment & Holding Co, which is solely owned by employees of the company, according to its website.

Its products have been deployed in more than 100 countries and it counts 45 of the world's top 50 telecom operators as customers.

The Government has said it will be investing up to $1.5 billion in open-access, dark-fibre infrastructure to accelerate the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband to 75 percent of New Zealanders over ten years.

On July 1 Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce announced amendments to the model for the initiative after receiving a first round of bids.

The invitation to participate (ITP) has been revised and respondents to the original ITP are providing revised proposals.

Crown Fibre Holdings will be making recommendations on preferred investment partners to ministers by October, Mr Joyce said.

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