Displaying items by tag: Equipment
The US-led campaign against Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei is now facing resistance from a number of major European operators.
Washington has been engaged in a sustained offensive attack on China’s major telecommunication vendors Huawei and ZTE over the last number of years.
However, that has heightened in recent months, with the United States labelling Huawei and ZTE as a severe threat to national security. US President Donald Trump is expected to issue an executive order later this week which would prohibit both Chinese vendors from being involved in wireless networks in the US.
In addition to this, lobbyists on behalf of the US convinced its allies Australia and New Zealand to prevent either company from participating in the rollout of their respective 5G networks. The US is now pressuring Europe to follow suit. Earlier this week, comments by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added further fuel to the ongoing saga when he said that countries that use Huawei technology could hurt their relationship with the United States.
However, that has been met with resistance from major European operators who have discovered that they will have to fork out more to replace equipment from Huawei and ZTE, and that a blanket ban on both companies would significantly impact its ability to launch 5G services in the next twelve months, as Huawei is the global leader on 5G equipment.
A number of prominent executives from Europe’s top operators told The Wall Street Journal that Huawei hardware was much better than the rest on offer and often cost less; not using it could well mean that Europe would lag Asia and countries in other regions that use gear from Huawei for their 5G rollouts.
In addition to this, Nick Read, chief executive of Vodafone Group, was quoted as saying in January that a total ban on the carrier's use of Huawei equipment “would have significant financial cost, would have significant customer disruption and would delay 5G rollout in several countries”. The UK's four major wireless operators — Vodafone, BT Group, Telefonica and CK Hutchison Holdings' Three — were all against a ban.
But it is not only big carriers who prefer Huawei equipment, with Jersey Telecom, a publicly-owned company operating in the Isle of Jersey, also expressing a preference for Chinese equipment.
The company sought bids from both Chinese and Western companies in 2014 for its wireless network and while Huawei's bid 20% below the lowest Western offer, ZTE was 40% cheaper. Jersey Telecom chief executive Graeme Millar went with ZTE, and commented: "I have a genuinely high-class, low-cost supplier with ZTE, who haven’t let me down yet.”
The US stands accused of using Huawei and ZTE as political pawns in the ongoing trade war standoff between Washington and Beijing.
US President Donal Trump is set to issue an executive order later this week which would prohibit Chinese companies from being involved in wireless networks in the United States.
The exclusion of Chinese telecommunications behemoths Huawei and ZTE has drawn bipartisan support in the US House of Representatives, which is notable considering the fractious and hostile political climate in Washington under the Trump administration.
Reports emerging from Washington which cite unnamed sources close to the administration are saying the objective is to issue the order just before the commencement of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of this month.
The executive order would effectively mean a ban on all telecoms equipment supplied by both Huawei and ZTE, which would significantly hurt the coffers of both companies.
The hostility towards both Chinese vendors stems from allegations made by US intelligence agencies that both companies pose a very real threat to national security. However, both Huawei and ZTE vehemently deny the claims and have robustly defended their security record across the world.
The report did highlight that there was no decision yet on how 5G networks would be built in the US without equipment from Huawei.
At the moment, however, no plan had been drawn to manage without equipment from Huawei, with the main push coming from smaller rural ISPs who had benefitted from the use of equipment from the Chinese vendor due to the prices and good service.
T-Mobile US CEO has confirmed the worst fears of Chinese telecommunication behemoths Huawei and ZTE by officially announcing that it will not use any equipment supplied by either vendor.
Ireland telecommunications incumbent Eir has rejected the growing skepticism surrounding the security practices of Huawei by vowing to stick with the embattled Chinese vendor.
The mobile network operator confirmed that it plans to continue to use radio access equipment supplied by Huawei in the rollout of its 4G and 5G networks.
The company’s CEO Carolan Lennon made the remarks regarding Hauwei at the launch of a new €500m FTTH rollout that aims to reach 1.4m premises with a network capable of speeds of up to 10Gbps.
Many European operators have warned of the risk of excluding Huawei from their 5G projects. Vodafone CEO Nick Read said a blanket ban on the Chinese telecommunications behemoth would significantly impact the deployment of 5G networks in Europe.
A number of leading experts from within the ICT ecosystem believe Huawei are the victim of a politically motivated campaign by the US and are being used as a pawn in a trade war between Washington and Beijing.
Last November Eir revealed a €150m plan to deliver 4G connectivity to 99pc geographic coverage. The two-year project will transform the entire Eir cellular network, expanding it by hundreds of additional sites. Huawei will provide the radio access network equipment while Swedish telecoms equipment player Ericsson will deploy the core network linked by fibre.
The CEO of Eir also confirmed that the first Irish cities will also start to see 5G deployed this year, with handsets likely to be in stores by the second half of 2019. In addition to this, she also confirmed that voice over LTE (VoLTE) services will be rolled out.
When asked if Eir had any plans to follow in the footsteps of BT or Vodafone in curbing the use the Chinese company’s equipment, Lennon said Eir will continue to work with the company.
Lennon said: “In our RFP [request for proposal] for the network, Ericsson was successful on the core network bid and Huawei was successful for the radio access part. We are confident in Huawei as a partner and we have no plans to change. Around 48% of telco’s in Europe have Huawei as a partner.
Europe’s largest telecommunications operator Deutsche Telekom has warned that if governments across the continent decide to implement a ban on Chinese vendor Huawei, then the rollout of 5G networks could be delayed by at least two years.
British telecommunications behemoth Vodafone has confirmed that it has delayed the installation of equipment supplied by Chinese vendor Huawei amidst security concerns surrounding the company.
However, Vodafone’s CEO Nick Read moved quickly to highlight that a blanket ban on Huawei would significantly hamper the roll out of 5G as the innovative Chinese enterprise has become the global leader in relation to 5G development.
Read said that the cautionary measure was taken by Vodafone because of the controversy currently swirling around Huawei following the high-profile arrest of its CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, and the detainment of another executive in Poland on suspicion of espionage.
Vodafone will engage in further discussions from authorities who have flagged their safety concerns over Huawei. However, Vodafone has insisted that but it will use the vendor’s equipment in its radio networks.
Read stated that the authorities had not forced Vodafone’s decision, but did acknowledge and concede that the negativity around Huawei had now become unhealthy in Europe and required for a more structured conversation that presented the facts so that we’re making the right decision for the industry, and isn’t politically motivated.
Vodafone Group said that it uses only a small amount of Huawei equipment in its core networks in a number of markets in Europe, which includes. However, interestingly the CEO did confirm that Huawei’s equipment was not used in its core network in the UK.
In addition to this, Read highlighted the importance of the availability of Huawei infrastructure, adding the industry needed to “look at it more holistically” and be “more grounded.” He noted rival vendors Ericsson and Nokia also have R&D facilities and significant manufacturing facilities located in China.
Vodafone has continued to pursue its digital strategy and has yielded good financial returns by simplifying its operating model and accelerating digital transformation. Vodafone has also announced an extension of a network sharing deal with Telefonica’s O2 UK, and added that it is planning to explore opportunities to monetize its UK tower assets.
The French government has announced that it will be instructing operators to allow them more oversight and control in relation to the rollout of 5G networks due to increased security concerns.
The decision by the French government comes on the back of speculation that a number of Western nations are considering banning Chinese telecommunications vendor Huawei from bidding on contracts for 5G deployment, amidst fears that Beijing would be able to gain access to sensitive communications and infrastructure.
Huawei should be the go-to vendor for operators globally, as it is well-ahead of its European rivals Nokia and Ericsson in relation to 5G equipment. However, Washington are lobbying its allies to prevent the Chinese telecommunications behemoth from being involved in their 5G networks as US intelligence agencies have deemed them a serious threat to domestic security.
Guillaume Poupard, head of France's national cybersecurity agency ANSSI, said a new law could be drafted in the forthcoming number of months in an effort to ‘toughen and extend’ authorization requirements in order to be sure we control the entire 5G network.
However, he insisted that approvals would not be refused "because of a company's image, or its country of origin".
Poupard told AFP, "There aren't good equipment makers on the one hand and bad equipment makers on the other -- unfortunately the situation is much more complex. The need for oversight is all the more critical since the base stations and other infrastructure for ultrafast 5G networks are much less centralized than current 4G systems.”
Huawei’s chairman Liang Hua told reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that it would pull out of partnerships in hostile countries.
Liang said, “We do not pose a threat to a future digital society. The United States has not yet put forward any evidence to justify its claim that Huawei’s equipment could serve as a Trojan horse for Beijing's security apparatus.”
Embattled Chinese telecommunication vendors Huawei and ZTE have received a welcome reprieve following the news that two Spanish operators are planning on using them for forthcoming 5G pilots.
Chinese media outlets have launched a scathing attack on the United States for its role in the arrest and subsequent detainment of Huawei’s CFO in Vancouver earlier this week.