Teaming up with local telecommunications giants TalkTalk, Chinese technology company Huawei have unveiled their first effort to crack the UK market for set-top boxes, with a new connected reciever carrying recently-released TV and catch-up platform YouView.
The company, who are a ‘strategic partner’ to YouView, mark the UK region as their 10th ‘international market’ expansion since launching their set-top box ventures in 2004, and give the fledgling connected TV service a chance to make an impact through another provider alongside existing partners such as launch partner Humax.
As would be expected from such a service, the ‘advanced TV software’ provided by Huawei’s product includes as a minimum all Freeview channels, PVR functionality, and video on-demand.
The work with TalkTalk has seen telecommunications customers receive Huawei boxes since October on an ‘installation programme’ that means over 29,000 UK viewers already owned a Huawei box before its recent commercial release.
Adding to a range of smartphones and tablet computers released under their name, Huawei UK & Ireland’s ‘executive vice-president’ Mark Mitchinson said of the YouView launch for his company: “[It is an] era-defining moment in British television. Huawei’s technology is at the heart of both of these revolutions. YouView delivers a comprehensive and easy-to-use TV experience, which is hugely compelling, and will come to define British TV viewing habits going forward. Our partnership with TalkTalk is strategic and long-running, and goes to a new level with this project. TalkTalk’s strategy for YouView is to bring pay-TV services to a wider mass market. This chimes with our own ethos – that cutting-edge technology can make lives better and should be accessible to as many people as possible.”
YouView’s chief executive Richard Halton added of the new supporting hardware (a culmination of a 2-year process since Huawei signed as a partner to the then-developing venture): “Huawei has been a great partner and met a challenging timescale to deliver its product. Through its work with TalkTalk, it has played a key role in bringing YouView to the widest possible audience.”
Halton’s TalkTalk counterpart Dido Harding summarised of the promotional campaign with Huawei: “This was a challenging project from an engineering point of view, and Huawei has delivered at every turn. It came on board relatively late in the programme and its R&D functions in the UK and China have done all that we asked of them. Huawei has demonstrated phenomenal commitment and expertise to deliver a set top box and software solution which offers outstanding performance and quality.”
Already a dominant force in the market of their home nation of China, Huawei have announced their intention of further plans to break into the UK set-top box industry with more TalkTalk-assisted models in 2013, but will the moves be enough to grow their international reputation?