A giant in China's telecommunications equipment business, Huawei Technologies, will re-brand high-end routers from Avici Systems and sell them to Chinese carriers.
Huawei, a major supplier for China's rapidly growing communications networks, will re-brand Avici's Stackable Switch Router (SSR) and Quarter-rack Scalable Router (QSR) and sell them as part of its line-up for service-provider IP (Internet Protocol) networks.
China is one of the world's few bright spots for telecommunications network building, so every big manufacturer is trying to get into the market, analyst Zeus Kerravala, said.
"Having Huawei as your distributor there, I think, puts you in the driver's seat," Kerravala said.
The Shenzhen-based company is one of China's most prominent homegrown IT vendors, with a workforce of 22,000 and revenue of $US2.4 billion in 2001.
It has gone up directly against Cisco Systems in some product categories and is even facing a lawsuit by Cisco in a US federal court over alleged patent infringement and illegal copying of source code.
A Huawei spokesperson has denied a report in the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper that the company would exit the US market by the end of this year as part of an out-of-court settlement with Cisco.
Cisco could not be reached for comment.
Avici makes routers that can be linked together in groups that work as one large platform. The QSR fits in a quarter of the height of a standard telecommunications rack and can be fitted with interfaces ranging from OC-3c, or 155Mbps (bits per second), up to 10-Gigabit Ethernet.
One QSR fitted with dual route controllers can accommodate eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a system of QSRs can hold as many as 38.
The SSR, a half-rack platform for regional points of presence, also uses OC-3c to 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. An SSR system can hold as many as 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. The products are complementary to Huawei's own offerings.
Huawei makes mobile, fixed-line and optical network gear and in 2002 made about 20 per cent of its revenue through exports.
Earlier this year the company formed a joint venture with 3Com.
Under that deal, Huawei's products will be sold in China and Japan under the joint venture's name and in other countries under the 3Com label.
That deal gave Huawei access to 3Com's distribution channels in the US, a boon to Huawei's export dreams, Kerravala said.