Thursday, 12 December 2019 10:09

Germany's Telefónica signs 5G antenna deal with Huawei Featured

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Germany's Telefónica signs 5G antenna deal with Huawei Pixabay

Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies has secured a deal with German telco Telefónica SA, one of the three major operators in the country, to build part of its 5G network.

The company said on Wednesday that it would use gear from Huawei and Finland's Nokia to build its 5G network, provided Huawei equipment met the government's security requirements, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Both Nokia and Huawei would supply equipment for 5G antennas, Telefónica said, adding that a decision on suppliers for the core network would be made in 2020.

Telefónica spokesman Klaus Schulze-Löwenberg was quoted as saying the company had "clearly taken care not to pre-empt the ongoing political process of defining these security guidelines and at the same time not to delay the start of the 5G rollout".

The other two major German telcos, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone Group, have not said anything publicly about their choice of vendors for the 5G rollout which is expected to gather pace in 2020.

In October, the German Government said it would not be banning any vendor from participating in the 5G rollout, with spokesman Steffen Seibert saying all vendors would be treated alike.

Contacted for comment, a Huawei Australia spokesperson said there was no official word on the deal from the company as yet.

For a number of years, the US has been running a campaign against Huawei to prevent the company from being signed up for 5G contracts in countries Washington considers allies. Thus far, apart from the US, only Australia has made a public statement about banning Huawei from participation in any 5G rollout.

Japan and Poland have been reported to be taking a similar stance, but have not made a public statement to that effect as yet.

The Trump administration placed Huawei and 68 of its affiliates on its Entity List on 16 May, meaning that the company would have to seek permission to purchase any American components it needed to manufacture its products.

This came after many years of accusations that Huawei posed a danger to the US because the Chinese Government could use its technology as a means of spying.

On 21 May, the US Commerce Department eased some of the restrictions until August, allowing Huawei to maintain and update existing networks and handsets. The company has since been granted two more extensions.

There have been reports recently that Huawei is assembling its latest smartphones with non-US technology.

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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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