In a report on Unstrung, Justin Springham comments on the significance of this week’s KDDI contract awards to Korean and Japanese vendors (reported on WWJ here). Yesterday, Hitachi seemed to beat Samsung’s day-earlier deal with KDDI Corp., revealing that it had also secured a CDMA 1XEV-DO Revision-A network upgrade deal with the carrier worth approximately 100 billion yen. Springham writes that: “Hitachi’s win eclipses the earlier $800 million deal with Samsung. Reports suggested Samsung claimed to be the sole supplier of Revision A kit to KDDI.”
Springham also says that both vendors are a logical choice in light of their status as existing suppliers to KDDI’s CDMA network.
While KDDI still seems to favor their domestic Japanese suppliers given the value of the two deals, the Samsung contract nonetheless represents a solid reconfirmation of Korea’s growing presence in the Japan market.
Samsung got their foot in the door as a supplier to KDDI with the carrier’s first upgrade from 2G cdmaOne to 3G CDMA 1X back in 2000. At the time, at least one existing supplier, Motorola, apparently didn’t make the grade.
The question now is: when will a Korean vendor get a consumer terminal into the lucrative Japan market?
— Daniel Scuka