In what is arguably a sign of the political times, the Russian cable operator Akado Telekom has decided to replace Cisco equipment in its network with that supplied by its Chinese competitor Huawei.
Quoting sources close to both parties, Vedomosti reports that the modernisation budget for the network, costing around $10 million, will see switches and routers manufactured by Cisco gradually replaced by equipment supplied by Huawei.
It adds that Komkor, which is part of the Akado group, signed a cooperation agreement with the Chinese company earlier this week.
Under it, Akado will buy equipment from Huawei and use the manufacturer’s support for three years.
The deal will also see Akado’s costs of upgrading and operating its network cut by up to 50%.
Modernising a network is a lengthy process and can take up to a year in a large city.
In the case of Akado, it is seeing its network traffic grow by 30-50% each year due to the popularity of online video sharing, offered by such services as ivi.ru and rutube.ru.
The company is set to spend – at current exchange rates – around $24.7 million on upgrading its broadband network this year, or 25% more than in 2013.