Juniper buries doubts on boom

Updated: 2013-02-18 10:39

By Shen Jingting (China Daily)

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Bryan Wang, vice-president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, said the biggest China opportunity for networking vendors this year will rely on the potential commercial rollout of the fourth generation (4G) LTE network.

China Mobile Ltd, the world's largest telecom carrier by subscriber numbers, is conducting large-scale 4G trials in 13 cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology predicts an investment of 500 billion yuan ($80.26 billion) in trial network construction and more than 1 trillion yuan after commercial use starts up.

"If the Chinese government issues 4G licenses this year, it will definitely boost Juniper's business on the service provider side," Forrester's Wang said.

Douglas Murray, senior vice-president for Asia-Pacific at Juniper Networks, said Juniper's global experience in assisting operators to deploy 4G networks will be critical in helping its Chinese customers. "In addition, Juniper's partners and distributors in China will help us to develop the 4G business," Murray added.

The enterprise IT market is the other major focus for Juniper, according to Johnson. "We have seen good business growth with financial, education and healthcare industry customers," he said.

"Juniper faces intensified competition in China from both local and international rivals. Compared with Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE, Juniper is a relatively late-comer and does not possess any advantages on pricing," said Liu Yatao, an analyst with Beijing-based research firm Analysys International.

Juniper's Johnson said Shenzhen-based Huawei is a major competitor. "But if we create great products, that will be the key for us continuing to gain market share and succeed," he said.

Juniper plans to invest 17 to 20 percent of the company's revenue in research and development, which is a staggering figure for the industry. The company has four R&D centers across the world. One of them is in Beijing.

Juniper outlined its strategy on software-defined networks in January this year to help enterprises and service providers to transfer from traditional network infrastructure. SDN has proved to be hot in the global networking field. Other major players, such as Cisco and VMware, have also swooped on it.

Pradeep Sindhu, co-founder and chief technical officer of Juniper Networks, said SDN would help vendors to deploy services at a faster rate and help reduce the operational cost of running a network, achieved primarily through simplification.

"We want to lead the SDN market," said Johnson.

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