Huawei Lands Major Everything Everywhere Deal

Huawei has signed a major deal with Everything Everywhere to upgrade its 2G mobile infrastructure

Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei has landed a major contract with the UK’s largest mobile phone operator, Everything Everywhere.

The four year contract is to ‘enhance’ the 2G network of Everything Everywhere.

Huawei will essentially upgrade Everything Everywhere’s base stations, which will help optimise its GSM network.

User Experience

“Huawei’s cutting-edge technology and professional, dedicated team with unrivalled global Radio Access Network experience will enable us to rapidly achieve our objective of building one of the biggest and best mobile networks in the UK and providing our customers with the best possible network experience,” said Emin Gurdenli, VP of Network Services at Everything Everywhere.

“This contract marks a very significant milestone in the evolution of the UK mobile market and represents yet another major breakthrough for Huawei in the European tier one Wireless service provider arena,” addedVictor Zhang, CEO of Huawei UK.

Everything Everywhere was formed last year after the merger of Orange UK and T-Mobile UK.

That merger created the largest single mobile operator in the UK market.

3G Services Over 2G

Today’s announcement means that Huawei’s upgrade of Everything Everywhere’s 2G GSM Radio network will result in better network performance.

Essentially, it will allow Everything Everywhere to use its 2G spectrum to offer 3G services. The 2G spectrum has been primarily used for voice and text (SMS) services, whereas 3G is more suited for data services.

However, 2G spectrum is perfectly capable of handling data, but operators have been unable to use it for this, as the licences to use it were issued at a time when data services were not expected to be important, and specified that the band was to be used for voice.

Now, the regulator Ofcom has moved to a “technology-neutral” policy, and after a decision in January this year, UK mobile operators are able to offer 3G services using spectrum previously limited to 2G.

In March for example, O2 launched an improved 3G service using the refarmed 2G mobile spectrum when it switched on its new “superfast” 3G network, across London, which uses the 900MHz spectrum. O2 claimed the use of 900MHz 3G offers a 50 percent increase in network capacity and a 30 percent improvement in download speed.

But another side effect of Huawei upgrading Everything Everywhere’s 2G network is that it should also provide a significant increase in coverage and network capacity, including indoor coverage.

UK Presence

Everything Everywhere said that customers can also expect HD Voice experience for voice calls in line with the UMTS network. Orange officially launched its high definition (HD) voice service in September last year.

HD calls are said to offer increased clarity and filter out most background noises.

This deal is also good news for Huawei, as it stands the Chinese equipment maker in good stead for the forthcoming installation of 4G infrastructure in the UK, as mobile operators look to the upgrading of their mobile networks to Long Term Evolution (LTE) over the coming years.

The contract with Huawei therefore gives it a valuable ‘foot in the door’ for these upgrades.

Yet the Chinese company has been active in the UK for a while now. In February Huawei promised £50 million worth of mobile equipment for the London Underground, “as a contribution from one Olympic nation to another”.

And in December Huawei announced the creation of a cyber security centre in the UK to allow its products and software to be examined and tested, to ensure its products matched UK government security standards.