Vodafone is likely to keep away from using Huawei equipment for its mobile networks.
The security concerns and the political uncertainty that is now surrounding the telecommunication equipment supplied by the Chinese firm is the primary reason that Vodafone, the second largest mobile operator of the world has decided to put on hold the use of Huawei equipment for its core networks in Europe, said the company this week.
This decision by Vodafone is the latest incident where Huawei has been penalised for fears that its telecommunication equipment could be used for spying by Chinese agencies through back doors that are believed to exist in its equipment. The company has been under fire in the western countries in recent months with a number of governments banning the use of its equipment in the construction of the state of the art 5G mobile networks.
The company has been prevented from participating in the construction of 5G mobile networks in the United States, Australia and New Zealand on the pretext of national security. It has been reported that similar measures are being contemplated by Germany and Canada.
Huawei however has repeatedly denied all such allegations and stated that its equipment is not a security risk and that the company does not have any link with the Chinese government.
Vodafone has taken a decision to temporarily not use equipment made and supplied by Huawei in the core networks of the company in Europe and will use the time to talk to regulators, governments, security agencies as well as the Chinese company itself in order to come to a final conclusion about the issue, said Vodafone CEO Nick Read. The company would however continue to make use of the radio equipment made by Huawei.
The CEO noted the Chinese firm is a very important component in the global telecoms equipment market and added that the issues and controversy that is being conducted surrounding Huawei is being done at a “simplistic level.”
Huawei, Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson are the three main global companies that dominate the worlds’ telecoms equipment market. The largest supplier of telecommunications equipment in the world is Huawei and in Europe it enjoys a market share of anything between 35 per cent and 40 per cent.
If various governments were to impose a “complete ban” on all of the network equipment supplied by Huawei, “it would be a huge issue for us and the whole European telecommunications sector” and would result in significant delays the implementation of the 5G networks, warned Vodafone’s Read.
The company “is focused on supporting Vodafone’s 5G network rollouts, of which the core is a small proportion,” said a Huawei spokesman in a statement on Friday. “We are grateful to Vodafone for its support of Huawei,” he added.
(Adapted from CNN.com)