Middle East Offers Chinese Telecom Company Growth Opportunities

An executive from Huawei revealed that during 2012, Huawei's operating revenue in the Middle East increased by 18% year-on-year to USD2.08 billion, with 4G network deployment and IT outsourcing as the main growth points.

Shi Yaohong, president for Huawei Middle East, said in an email quoted in local media that the company believes the operators in Middle East will attach more importance to network efficiency optimization. He said these operators will turn to software-defined network, IT outsourcing, and 4G network deployment, which will play important roles in the future businesses of Huawei.

The company did not reveal its net profit or capital expense in Middle East. However, the publishing of operating revenue statistics is a sign that Huawei hopes to be more transparent.

Telecom operators in Middle East, especially the Persian Gulf countries, have started the deploying of 4G LTE networks, which are reportedly twice faster as the 3G network. However, the lack of terminal devices leads to the slow acceptance of the LTE network by users.

Shi said by enlarging Huawei's product lines and introducing more smartphones, tablets, and Wi-Fi routers that are compatible with the 4G LTE technologies in the Middle East, Huawei aims to further open this marketplace in the next 12 months. Shi added that in the device market, Huawei is not well recognized by the consumers in the Middle East. It takes time to establish a consumer brand.

As the second largest telecom equipment provider and the fifth smartphone maker in the world, Huawei's major competitors in the smartphone market include Apple and Samsung. In 2012, the company's global operating revenue was USD35.35 billion, of which 5.9% was contributed by the Middle East market. Huawei's major markets in the Middle East include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.

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