Digital connectivity 

When Huawei Technologies set foot in the Netherlands in 2004, it did so to huge media attention. Not only because the Chinese information and communications technology company was now going to have a branch in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, but also – and especially – because it had already won a deal worth millions of dollars to deliver an advanced wireless network. The excitement was in itself understandable. After all, the reliability and stability of the ICT infrastructure in a data-driven economy and society is of great strategic importance, and so entrusting the delivery of such a vital data-transport-network component to a partner that was, at that time, relatively unknown in Europe was a big step to make. But launching-customer Telfort found Huawei’s proposal the most attractive, both technologically and financially. And so, the Dutch operator granted the internationally rapidly expanding and highly innovative Huawei the chance to prove itself on the European growth market of carrier networks.

‘This Dutch project is still a milestone for our European operation,’ says Wonder Wang, CEO of Huawei Technologies Netherlands. ‘It was the start of a long-term journey, one that has seen us really grow and expand our business activities in the years since we first came here.’

Broadband land

Since then, ten million residents in the Netherlands are now fully or partially dependent on Huawei networks, components, smartphones, tablets and business solutions for their digital connectivity and mobile access. The Dutch arm of the company, which started off with just four employees, has become a major player and employer in ‘broadband land’, the Netherlands. After the breakthrough with the Telfort deal, Huawei Technologies Netherlands now employs 650 people and delivers the platform and components for the current 4G network of KPN (the formerly state-owned company that acquired Telfort). In addition to this, more and more companies, research institutions and individual customers are using Huawei’s services and products. Two examples include football and events stadium Amsterdam ArenA, whose WiFi network was set up by Huawei (a project that led to a business partnership with football club Ajax), and the Belastingdienst (Tax Authorities), whose systems have been converted to Huawei technology. When it comes to the consumer market, demand for Huawei smartphones and tablets has begun to rise, and a promising partnership with Dutch company Philips Healthcare, specialists in medical technology, has also been announced.

‘We are one of the key players now,’ says Wang. ‘But this comes with a big responsibility, one that grows bigger with the success of our business. Now that we are integrated into the Dutch business community, we feel an even stronger commitment to deliver stable, sustainable and and reliable network solutions, products and services.’

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