Telefonica brings in Huawei for 5G edge

2019-12-13 09:19:47China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

German unit of Spanish company reposes confidence in tech giant

Huawei Technologies Co has secured an important vote of trust, with one of Germany's biggest telecom companies selecting the Chinese company as a key telecom equipment supplier for its 5G network.

Telefonica Deutschland, which operates Germany's second-largest wireless network, has chosen Huawei alongside Finland's Nokia Oyj for supplying equipment to its 5G network.

The move came as French and German officials have said publicly that the two countries would not follow the United States in excluding Huawei from its 5G network rollout.

Telefonica Deutschland's decision showcases that mutually-beneficial business partnerships would not be derailed by political interference, and Washington's intensified efforts to ban Huawei on groundless accusations will fail ultimately, analysts said.

A part of the Spanish Telefonica group, Telefonica Deutschland said in a statement that the deal has to be approved by German authorities, who are currently finalizing the security rules for telecom equipment suppliers.

Telefonica Deutschland said it is taking into account the ongoing political process of establishing these security guidelines, but does not want to delay the start of the 5G expansion.

The company has followed in the footsteps of Switzerland's Sunrise which has launched its Huawei-powered 5G network. Sunrise has so far rolled out 5G services in more than 262 Swiss towns and cities, and over 50 percent of telecom equipment in its 5G core and radio networks is provided by Huawei.

On Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying denied media reports that the Chinese government threatened to cancel a trade deal with the Faeroe Islands if it does not agree to use Huawei's equipment

Hua said the claims "are completely false and have ulterior motives". Huawei, the world's biggest maker of mobile network gear, said it "was not aware of any meeting between the Chinese ambassador and Faeroese politicians in November as reported".

Bai Ming, a senior research fellow with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said the growing list of Huawei's 5G contracts shows that the US efforts to mix politics with normal business cooperation would fail ultimately, as facts would speak louder than Washington's groundless accusations.

An increasing number of European countries are taking an unbiased approach toward the use of Huawei equipment in their 5G network rollout. French Junior Economy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher recently said in an interview with local media that France will not exclude Huawei in 5G.

Germany also said that it would not single out any telecom player, including Huawei, in its 5G build-out.

In late November, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on European countries to agree to a common approach toward China and Huawei in the rollout of the superfast wireless technology.

Jeremy Ghez, an affiliate professor of economics and international affairs at HEC Paris, a French international business school, said a common attitude toward Huawei is in the common interests of European countries.

All the comments came as the US government has been accusing Huawei of posing security risks but so far it has failed to provide any factual evidences. Washington has sought to ban federal agencies and US rural telecom carriers from buying Huawei's equipment and services.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is currently detained in Canada following a request by the US. She was arrested at Vancouver International Airport by Canadian authorities at the request of the US on Dec 1, 2018, and has been held under house arrest since then.

Recently, more detailed evidence about Meng's case has emerged, and many media outlets pointed out that the case is driven by political forces.

Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail revealed in a recent article that "When Washington needed Canada's help to apprehend a top Huawei executive, officials in the White House, Congress and diplomatic corps were informed of what would happen hours before politicians in Ottawa."

Simon Tisdall, columnist for The Guardian, said geopolitical and economic rivalry between China and the US is what's really behind Meng's arrest.

Meng's arrest is not an isolated incident, but one of many actions taken as part of the US government's systematic campaign against Huawei, said Xiang Ligang, CEO of telecom industry website Cctime.

Huawei said in an earlier statement that the company has confidence in Meng's innocence, and it believes that her arrest was an unlawful abuse of process-one guided by political considerations and tactics, not by the rule of law.

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