Deutsche Telekom has warned that Europe would fall behind the US and China in the race to install 5G networks if governments ban Huawei over security fears, Bloomberg reports, citing an internal assessment.
The removal of Huawei from the list of suppliers of 5G networks would delay roll-out by at least two years, the report added, citing people familiar with the matter. Deutsche Telekom said in its internal assessment that banning Huawei would cost the industry billions of euros because the 5G networks must be built on top of existing 4G infrastructure, which already relies extensively on Huawei gear.
Deutsche Telekom said also it was reviewing its procurement strategy with suppliers in light of the debate over the safety of Chinese manufacturer Huawei, taking the global discussion “very seriously”.
The German government is considering the exclusion of Huawei from the firms that will contribute to building 5G network infrastructure, with ministries and authorities thinking about stricter security standards and amendments to the Telecommunications Law.
The US Department of Justice has charged Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng and Huawei with financial fraud, with Huawei Device USA and the Iranian company Skycom also named in the case over alleged sanctions violations. In addition, the DoJ has launched another case against Huawei for allegedly stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile US.
Australia and New Zealand have already banned Huawei from supplying equipment for their 5G networks due to security concerns. The Norwegian government announced at the beginning of January that it was considering excluding the Chinese firm. Norway shares the concerns of the US and the UK, Justice Minister Tor Mikkel Wara told Reuters.
Vodafone is temporarily halting purchases of some components made by Huawei amid the international security concerns about the supplier, the Wall Street Journal reported. The operator said it would not buy Huawei gear for use in the core of new 5G networks in Europe, because of uncertainty about whether some governments in the region may restrict Huawei sales amid national security concerns.