Home Government Tech Policy Vodafone chief asks US to share evidence about Huawei
Nick Read: “We need to have a fact-based risk-assessed review." Nick Read: “We need to have a fact-based risk-assessed review." Courtesy Vodafone Featured

Vodafone chief executive Nick Read says the US must share any evidence it has about Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies with authorities in Europe, so that they can make an unified decision on using equipment from the company.

Read, head of the world's second largest mobile firm, told media at MWC Barcelona that reducing the number of companies that supplied equipment for 5G networks from three to two would affect both the industry and economic growth.

Reuters quoted him as saying: "We need to have a fact-based risk-assessed review." A Vodafone spokesperson contacted by iTWire said his remarks were unscripted and therefore there was no transcript to verify the quotes.

Read said Vodafone was using Huawei's 5G radio equipment in Europe, though deployment in the core network had been paused.

“People are saying things at the moment that are not grounded, I’m not saying that is the case for the US because I have not met them directly myself so I have not seen what evidence they have, but they clearly need to present that evidence to the right bodies throughout Europe,” he said.

The US has been pushing countries it sees as allies to prevent Huawei from tendering for 5G work. Australia has banned the company. New Zealand, which initially blocked telco Spark from using Huawei gear, has now indicated this is not the end of the matter.

Read said a solution was not as simple as not allowing the use of Huawei equipment in future networks; 4G networks contained its equipment too and those networks were the foundation of the new technology.

If an equipment swap on that scale had to be undertaken, it would be massively disruptive to infrastructure and users, besides costing a pretty penny, he pointed out.

“It will delay 5G in Europe by probably two years,” Read said. “It structurally disadvantages Europe.”


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.


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