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back to article UK's loyalty set for £1.2bn Huawei reward

The UK economy is set to get a much needed boost on Tuesday when Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei announces an expected £1.2bn investment including hundreds of jobs. The announcement, which is expected to be endorsed by prime minister David Cameron, will consist of a pledge to create at least 700 jobs in the country along …

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Meh

Cameron is busily trying to been seen as decisive, rather than the ditherer he is when it comes to investment and jobs.

The US and Australia have real concerns about the company, whereas we just open our arms here in Blighty.

Peace in our time Dave, peace in our time.

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Anonymous Coward

Hardly "open our arms" - no kit gets near vital infrastructure without having been approved by GCHQ security teams examining the kit first for potential exploits.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/06/huawei-security-center-UK-gchq/

Not a fool proof guarantee of security, granted, but hardly "open our arms" either.

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FAIL

@AC 11 September 2012 7:44GMT

"Hardly 'open our arms' - no kit gets near vital infrastructure without having been approved by GCHQ security teams examining the kit first for potential exploits."

Phorm.

https://www.dephormation.org.uk/index.php?page=83

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Phorm

The guy's question was totally unsubstantiated and quite possibly bollocks - Phorm, for all it's faults, wasn't a conspiracy to "monitor UK personal & commercial telecommunications on a nationwide scale" for espionage reasons*, it was to deliver targeted advertising. If I was Sir David sat up there, and presented with that question, I'd have probably thought "oh here we go, another nutter, can I be arsed getting into this" and then answered with "I don't recognise the story" to get out of it.

* At least, I've never heard of that, but am prepared to read more "evidence", if it is indeed evidence and not the vomit of some crazed conspiracist who wants something to be there...

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Angel

Re: Phorm

Phorm's whole raison d'être was to gather and exploit commercial intelligence... and do so on a national scale... using spying technology supplied by Russian developers (OCSLab).

That *is* spying. That is *espionage*.

Have you read this?

https://nodpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/British_Telecom_Phorm_Page_Sense_External_Validation_report.pdf

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This post has been deleted by its author

Stop

Xenophobia......`

A colleague of mine accused me of xenophobia for having, what he calls "anti-chinese" views.

But, even if half the reports about H'wei and ZTE are true, then massive investment by them is the last thing we need.

Massive amount if immegration fraud when they bring in hundreds of Chinese works, on rotating visa's, theft of intellectual property and industrial espioanage. Is this not enough to be wary ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Xenophobia......`

1. Who told you they will be on rotating visa's? Permanent more likely. At least the ones that really make the decisions.

2. As far as IPR they will not intersect with the few remaining telecoms R&D pockets in the UK. They are going for big telecoms and there is no R&D left there. Consluttants killed that long ago. The R&D and IPR creation is now in SMEs which have little or nothing to do with the big H.

3. IMHO this is simply Huawei replacing Indian outsourcers and their like in UK telecoms operators using their full-service model (like in Sunrise in Switherland) which has been a long time coming. That is not R&D. This is leaching the value (which is no longer in the hardware, it is in the service) from the system. They may be investing 1bnm but they will leach ~ 1bn a year out of the telecom sector per annum. Nice ROI if you can have it. They will also exclude any other player from the UK telecom market by controlling the key "hurdle" for adding new systems to the network - OSS and BSS. And all of that with the prime minister blessing.

Nice. Applause Mr Cameron, applause...

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Meh

Re: Xenophobia......`

The interesting thing about the Sunrise Swiss job is that is exactly what H'wei planned to do: until the Swiss immigration people said "Woooo, steady on there. Nope, you're not bringing in 200 workers on temporary visa's". They are, right now, having a massive resource issue.

They tried to bring in Bulgarian workers as well, but this too was knocked back.

This is what happens when a company sells for cost minus, just to stay in a market.

The next quarter will see how they manage it, but right now, it is not looking good for them.

As for the OSS BSS claim, of that I am not sure. H'wei OSS/BSS offerings are not the only game in town. In fact, they are coming very late to that table. NSN and E/// are both in that space, and of course some of the smaller players.

All in all, personally, I am not comfortable with this H'wei story, but then Blighties own Marconi took the smorgasbord five or so years ago, so there is very little we can do.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Xenophobia......`

"but then Blighties own Marconi took the smorgasbord five or so years ago, so there is very little we can do....."

I too am not comfortable with this agreement, and would much sooner see a headline about new jobs and investment in Marconi, Plessey, GEC, Racal, Ferranti, STC, etc., But years of bad government policies, lack of investment and bad management have made sure we will no longer export our technology to the world nor have other countries courting us to build factories overseas to prop up their job markets.

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@AC 07:39 - "...Marconi, Plessey, GEC, Racal, Ferranti, STC..."

The list says it all. Such a tragic waste of technical talent when those companies died or were absorbed by others.

We're left with the common belief (that I think is bollocks) that we can't cut it in the world any longer - leaving the field to the multi-nationals.

No reason why that should be, though. But I guess things won't change as long as the government looks to buy in rather than encourage home-grown development capability.

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Facepalm

re: playing debts

Look, I know it's politically unfashionable in Europe to honour sovereign debts, but perhaps he did, somewhat naively, mean "pay down" and "service" the olympic debts.

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I can't believe how dependent BT is on Huawei now

Went to Ad Astral Park last year and the number of Chinese faces in the cafeteria was astonishing. I realize that's a racist thing to say - but it prompted me to ask my BT host about it, and she said "basically the entire network operations are now outsourced to the Chinese while the software is outsourced to Indians."

Personally I think it's vital that countries like China, India, Pakistan and Brazil are given every opportunity to grow their economies. Apart from the humanitarian aspect (ie. it's the right thing to do to help them improve their quality of life) it also means Britain has prosperous markets into which we can sell our goods (Jaguar, which is owned by an Indian company, had a record year in exporting cars to China, for example).

But it's a bit scary to see so much of what used to be high tech innovation being outsourced. BT's decision to exclude Marconi from 21CN resulted in the loss of thousands of British jobs. Ironically because BT bought a cut down MSAN from Huawei (the box that goes in the telephone exchange) it meant that the planned moved to a VoIP Next Gen Network had to be cancelled. So the UK still has crappy old circuit-switched voice in use by our national operator.

And don't even get me started on the fact that the man who was driving the 21CN project while at BT (Matt Bross) now works for Huawei as their CTO.

Nothing suspicious or unethical there, eh?

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now works for Huawei as their CTO

Nothing unethical about that at all.

Its common for a company to offer a job to a "Partners" employee, especially where that person can bring more value or ensure a relationship can continue to flourish and run smooth. Imagine if Matt Bross had gone to "greener pastures" and the whole relationship between BT and Huawei went south, to Huawei's thinking, bagging Matt Bross was a sound investment.

And lets face it, if a partner of your employee offered a ridiculous pay increase, you'd jump ship..

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Re: now works for Huawei as their CTO

I absolutely agree that it's in Huawei's best interest to "take care" of people who may have smiled kindly on them in the past. People who were in influential positions when multi-billion pound deals were decided.

Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that nothing was "promised" ahead of time. By employing a former senior executive at a service provider, in a position where he has to do little or no work, for a salary that most of us would dream of, Huawei makes it easier for influential decision makers in future customers to "smile kindly" on Huawei.

I'm also aware that this is exactly the kind of thing that UK and US companies did for decades.

Senior executives usually have a "non-compete" clause in their contracts, and that's one reason they tend to receive huge payouts if they leave their positions (regardless of the reason). But as far as I can tell they do not seem to have a clause that prevents them working for a company that they may have been able to "do a favor" for in their previous position. By the way, it's not just Bross and BT. Look at Ben Verwaayen. Lucent to BT then back to Alcatel-Lucent. In that period Lucent was, and continues to be a major supplier to BT.

And what about ex-BT Retail CTO Stratis Scleparis moving to Phorm? Just after he'd got BT to agree to deploy the technology?

I suppose the question is, do we really want corruption to be an acceptable business practice? I mean...there are laws against it, just like there were "laws" against a lot of stuff the banks did in the past few decades or so.

I get the impression that UK and US equipment companies are keenly aware of the boundaries these days. They are no more or less "moral" than Chinese companies - they're just more afraid of being caught :-)

BT doesn't seem to be bothered about either being caught, or being perceived to be enganged in dubious relationships.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I can't believe how dependent @Kevin Pollock

"Personally I think it's vital that countries like China, India, Pakistan and Brazil are given every opportunity to grow their economies"

How touching. The UK's circa £30bn trade deficit suggests that the plan to enrich the third world to buy our exports will need to take a very long term perspective, and by the time they're rich enough to make a difference to the UK, there will be no jobs here other than dole administrators.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I can't believe how dependent blah blah blah...

Welcome to Thatcher's Britain, when nothing is manufactured any more. We'll al get rich selling services. . . . . NOT!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I can't believe how dependent BT is on Huawei now

Your chronology is slightly mixed up.

BT got dependent on Huawei to the point where it cannot live without it _AFTER_ Bros. You can fault Bros for a lot of stuff (incluing total lack of color sense with regards to his neck ties). However, not strictly following a dual supplier strategy is not one of that. In fact in his days the dual supplier strategy went seriously overboard in some places across BT.

Huawei today's dominance in BT is a natural consequence of BT's procurement methodology during the 3-4 years after Bros which at that particular time gave any engineering reasons a weight of 50% versus the non-technical opinion of the dedicated procurement specialist (no idea if that is still the case - if it is not it is a bit too little, too late).

That is an environment where Huawei usually wins. Their entire product development and major accounts strategy is built towards winning bids that are structured like this.

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Angel

Bross for a Knighthood

A person like Matt Bross would have starved to death in the Tower of London centuries ago, for treason. Nowadays, sellouts like him are given millions and heartily endorsed by the PM. Is it any wonder that the UK is in such a sorry state?

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Anonymous Coward

I work in Telecoms and there is a story doing the rounds of a Nokia switch having had serious stability issues when connected to a Huwaei switch. During the diagnosis, the engineer reportedly said that 'it looks like the Huwaei switch is doing a denial of service attack'. Ok, apocryphal/anecdotal to be sure, but you dont have to dig to far to raise serious concerns.

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Anonymous Coward

Dig to far?

That sounds like hard work. I have never been to 'far' ... is it much below the Earth's surface?

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Anonymous Coward

Acceptable local face

Huawei are obviously keen to invest in more staff as the staff turnover is so high!

Whilst all the key decisions are made at European HQ or Chinese level by the Chinese they still require an army of acceptable 'local' faces to carry out the customer facing UK activities. A fascinating company but being non-Chinese means you are always an outsider.

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WTF?

Both Australia and the US have raised concerns at the highest level about potential security risks

Most likely the Australian and US governments are concerned they can't install back doors in Huawei equipment without revealing what strategies they use for keeping tabs on users.

They spend trillions of dollars on all this security and still the Pants on Fire guy nearly succeeds, as did Richard Read except for the fact he didn't take his shoes off and the explosive material got damp and didn't ignite.

Another thing, security 'experts' say the hardest 'terrorist' to catch is the lone operator. So just what the hell is NSA listening to - single operators who talk in their sleep?

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Anonymous Coward

When will they learn?

We don't want foreign investment. We don't want UK companies to be taken over.

We want home grown companies to grow and succeed.

Name a UK mobile phone company? erm, Sendo (defunct).

Name an operating system the UK has conquered the world with? erm Risc OS? (not known outside of the UK).

We only seem to have ARM that is a large global player and that really pisses Intel off. So it won't be long before ARM disappear.

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Anonymous Coward

1.2 billion for 700 jobs? Why not just give 700 people 1.5 million each?

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