Sunday, 08 November 2020 05:41

Brazil telcos refuse to meet US official advocating Huawei ban Featured

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Brazil telcos refuse to meet US official advocating Huawei ban Image by Republica from Pixabay

Officials from Brazilian telecommunications companies have snubbed a visiting US official who has been making the rounds and pushing various countries to exclude Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies from their 5G rollouts.

Reuters reported that the carriers had turned down an invitation from the US embassy in Sao Paulo to meet Keith Krach, under-secretary of state for economic growth.

An unnamed source was quoted as saying: "This invitation is not compatible with free-market choices that we are used to. We should be able to freely make our best financial decisions.”

In September, it was reported that Krach had warned Italy and Germany against using Huawei gear. He told a meeting of the German Marshall Fund think-tank that Huawei was an arm of the CCP surveillance state and a tool for human rights abuse".

And in October, another American official, Greg Kalbaugh, deputy under secretary for policy at the International Trade Administration, a US Department of Commerce agency, told an online event organised by lobby group US India Business Council, in the Indian capital New Delhi: "I would encourage the government of India to review the risk to India’s communications networks to undertake appropriate measures to remove and exclude equipment from Huawei, ZTE, and other untrusted vendors from India’s 5G networks and broader ICT infrastructure."

Four Brazilian companies — Telefonica Brasil SA, Grupo Oi SA, TIM Participações SA, controlled by Telecom Italia SpA, and Claro, owned by Mexico’s America Movil — each control between 19% and 29% of the local market.

All four use Huawei equipment ahead of the spectrum auctions next year and do not support the ban on Huawei sought by the US Government.

Washington has campaigned for more than two years to try and push countries it considers allies to avoid using 5G equipment from Huawei in their networks. Thus far, Australia and Vietnam have said openly that they would follow the US' lead. Sweden recently became the third country to say so openly.

Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Poland have indicated that they are likely to toe the US line, but have yet to make public pronouncements about what policy they would follow.

The UK broke ranks with the US in January, saying it would allow Huawei to supply up to a third of equipment for non-core parts of its 5G networks but more recently changed its stance, saying it would remove Huawei gear completely by 2027.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came 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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