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Huawei Gunning For Networking Market Leaders Cisco, HP And Friends

Huawei is using Interop to stake out a bigger slice of the U.S. enterprise networking market, introducing a new data center switch, distribution agreement and smartphone offerings.

That sounds a little modest--to say the least--to one industry analyst.

"No, it's a zero-sum game, where someone wins and someone loses," says Jon Oltsik, principal analyst at Enterprise Strategies Group, of the networking market. "Huawei will go after the SMB and small enterprise [space] first and, thus, compete with the likes of Dell, Enterasys, Extreme [Networks] and HP."

And while Huawei touts the specifications of its CloudEngine 12800 data center switch, Huawei is more likely to compete on price or on a combination of price and performance, he says.

"The company will try to knock off the most popular switching and routing features, but price will be the key differentiator," he says.

Huawei will also demonstrate telepresence systems to show that it's competing in the burgeoning field of unified communications, including videoconferencing equipment. Also, the company will show off a number of new smartphones it plans to introduce in the highly competitive U.S. market.

Its strategy is to offer more affordably priced smartphones for "customers who've been trapped into feature phones because of price points," says Plummer. Huawei's phones will run the Google Android mobile operating system; some will carry the company name, while others will be labeled for carriers. One model will sell for $129 without a contract, or $29 with a two-year contract with AT&T.

Interop 2012 runs through May 10 and is produced by UBM TechWeb, which also publishes Network Computing.

Learn more about Research: 2012 Network Computing Salary Survey by subscribing to Network Computing Pro Reports (free, registration required).

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