Thursday, 23 January 2020 10:50

Ericsson chief: Huawei situation creating uncertainty for 5G market Featured

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Börje Ekholm: “Cyber security is a bigger threat, so we need to think differently about security.” Börje Ekholm: “Cyber security is a bigger threat, so we need to think differently about security.” Courtesy Ericsson

Ericsson chief executive Börje Ekholm says the US bid to prevent its competitor Huawei Technologies from gaining deals is not giving his company "a free kick".

Instead, the Swedish executive, who is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, told America's CNBC network, the situation was "creating uncertainty in the market" and reducing investment globally.

Finland's Nokia is the other big name in the 5G market.

Ekholm told CNBC that he hoped a solution could be found to move things forward globally.

For more than a few years, the US has been campaigning to get countries it considers allies ban the use of Huawei equipment in their 5G rollouts. Only Australia has followed suit, with reports that others like Japan and Poland are likely to do so.

While the propaganda against Huawei has been expected to boost the market for both Ericsson and Nokia, Ekholm's statements indicate that the situation on the ground is somewhat different.

Later, during a dinner held for other chief executives and US President Donald Trump in Davos, Ekholm sought more access to mid-band spectrum and a streamlining of the process in the US if it wanted to lead in 5G development.

Pointing out that the US was Ericsson's biggest market, Ekholm said: " And what I would wish for is that the United States leads the development of 5G. That requires a couple of things.

"Spectrum – freeing up the C-Band really quickly; it’s going to be critical. Permitting processes still takes two years. Networks running out of capacity — it happens globally; it happens here as well. It happens everywhere. And then, permitting process is a real restriction.

"And the last one is actually the lack of power. We need to really invest in building the capabilities to actually roll out the network.

"When that happens, we will have – the United States will have a strong platform for innovation in 5G. And 5G, as the president well knows, is a consumer play, but it’s also an enterprise platform."

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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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