Telecom Timeout

Sep 30 2009   11:14PM GMT

Former BT CTO joins Huawei: Telecom equipment competitors take note

Kate Gerwig Kate Gerwig Profile: Kate Gerwig

High-level executive moves are sometimes interesting a couple of seconds. But every once in a while, there’s a REALLY? moment. So it was with the announcement that former BT CTO Matt Bross has become the global CTO of Huawei, the Chinese telecom equipment vendor. At BT, Bross led the provider’s 21CN next-generation network program and had selected Huawei as a vendor partner.

Eyebrows were raised a few months ago when Bross left BT suddenly and wasn’t replaced – which led to speculation about the rising importance of the CIO over the CTO inside telecom operators now relying much more on software than network hardware.

Industry reverberations about the move don’t come from the fact that Bross has a job, but that he joined Huawei, the Chinese telecom equipment vendor driving hard price bargains and gaining market share from vendors like Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent. Four years ago, people had trouble pronouncing Huawei’s name. In August, Huawei won the T-Mobile LTE contract.

Word is that Bross will guide Huawei’s R&D efforts in terms of telecom network architecture. He will also help the vendor deliver products and solutions to North American customers, where Huawei currently has no major foothold. With his background, Bross could help Huawei become even more of a household name.

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