Deutsche Telekom also said it will start to review its network equipment procurement plans
The deployment of 5G across Europe would be affected if governments ban Chinese vendor over security concerns, Bloomberg reported, citing an internal assessment by German carrier Deutsche Telekom.
According to the briefing, the removal of Huawei from the list of 5G suppliers would delay the rollout of 5G by at least two years.
In its internal assessment, the German telco highlighted that 5G networks must be built on top of existing 4G infrastructure, which already relies extensively on Huawei equipment. If European governments ban Huawei and force operators to remove Huawei equipment, the telecom industry would see a huge financial impact, according to the report.
Deutsche Telekom has installed Huawei systems in thousands of its wireless towers. Huawei’s equipment also forms the backbone of some of Deutsche Telekom’s cloud products. The carrier said it is reviewing its network equipment procurement plans after the United States moved to restrict China’s Huawei Technologies from accessing its 5G networks, Reuters reported.
“Deutsche Telekom takes the global debate surrounding the security of Chinese network equipment very seriously. We have a multi-vendor strategy for network equipment. We are nonetheless reassessing our procurement strategy,” the telco said.
U.K. telecom group Vodafone recently said that it will continue to use gear from Huawei in 5G Radio Access Network but will pause the implementation of the vendor’s equipment for 5G core networks.
Vodafone’s CEO Nick Read said that a complete ban to use Huawei’s equipment at the radio level would cause several problems not only to Vodafone but to other carriers in Europe.
“Clearly, if there was a complete ban at the radio level, then it would be a huge issue for us, but it would be a huge issue for the whole European telco sector,” Read said.
A number of countries including the U.S., Canada, Japan the U.K., Germany, Australia and New Zealand have already taken certain steps to block or limit purchases of network equipment from Huawei and ZTE, over security allegations.
Tensions between the U.S. authorities and Huawei increased after the Justice Department announced criminal charges against the Chinese vendor, two affiliates in the U.S. and Iran, and the company’s CFO. Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers introduced bills that would ban the sale of U.S. chips or other components to Chinese vendors — including Huawei and ZTE — that violate US laws. If passed, the bill would require the U.S. president to ban the export of U.S. components to any Chinese telecommunications company that violates U.S. sanctions or export control laws. The bill stipulates that penalties for violating U.S. export control laws or sanctions cannot be withdrawn until a pattern of compliance and cooperation over the course of a year proves that the practices by Chinese firms have been changed.
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