Alltel First To Offer Huawei Data Cards In U.S. - InformationWeek

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Hardware & Infrastructure

Alltel First To Offer Huawei Data Cards In U.S.

The wireless ED360 card, which has download speeds up to 2.4 Mbps, supports Windows 2000, XP, and Vista operating systems.

Alltel Wireless on Monday became the first company to offer in the United States PC data cards from Chinese company Huawei Technologies.

The wireless ED360 card, which has download speeds up to 2.4 Mbps, supports Windows 2000, XP, and Vista operating systems. PC data cards are typically used in notebooks to access the Web via a cellular network.

The card is available to Alltel subscribers at no additional charge with the purchase of a qualifying data plan of $60 or more with a two-year service agreement. The card is sold separately for $190, and is available at Alltel retail stores.

Alltel, based in Little Rock, Ark., is the fifth largest wireless carrier in the United States and has built a strong network to serve people in rural areas and smaller cities that have not been tapped by larger rival such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Private equity firms TPG Capital and GS Capital Partners bought Alltel in May for $27.5 billion.

In May, Huawei announced a joint venture with U.S. company Symantec to develop and sell security and storage appliances to telecommunications carriers and enterprises. The new company would be headquartered in Chengdu, China, with Huawei owning 51%, and Symantec the remainder.

Last November, 3Com agreed to pay $882 million for Huawei's 49% stake in the Chinese joint venture Huawei-3Com Ltd. Private equity firms had been circling H3C but were trumped by an existing agreement between 3Com and Huawei. The deal permitted either party to buy out the other and included a noncompete provision for 18 months.

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