Light Reading reports that Chinese vendor Huawei is on track to become at least the fourth-largest telecom equipment vendor this year (in terms of revenue), potentially usurping its higher-profile western rivals. Huawei yesterday reported 2008 revenues of US$18.33 billion and net income of US$1.15 billion. According to the Light Reading report, this puts Huawei in fifth place, just behind Nokia Siemens Networks (US$19.78 billion). Cisco is top of the table with revenues of US$39.5 billion for 2008, followed by Ericsson (US$24.47 billion) and Alcatel-Lucent (US$21.97 billion). Huawei’s Chinese rival ZTE is in seventh place (US$6.49 billion), behind Nortel (US$10.4 billion). Light Reading claims that “if Huawei can maintain its momentum and convert contract wins into revenues in the same manner as it has done for the past two years, it could find itself much higher up the ranking for 2009.” In March, Huawei said it is confident of growing its mobile market share this year and is targeting deals worth US$30 billion in 2009, up from US$23 billion worth of signed contracts in 2008.
Meanwhile, the Financial Times notes today that Huawei expects continued rapid growth this year while most of its rivals are shrinking, partly by offering customers Chinese state bank loans to fund purchases. The report says the company claims that multibillion-dollar credit lines from China’s state banks, long believed to be one of the secrets behind the company’s success, are not for itself but for its customers. In separate news, Huawei this week signed a US$20 million deal with Albania’s third-largest mobile operator, Eagle Mobile, for the supply of network kit.