Telecom Vendors

Chinese telecom provider loses major European contract

The Chinese telecom company will cease to maintain mobile operator O2’s network in Germany – a subsidiary of Spain’s Telefonica – as of next year.

Telefonica Deutschland chief executive Markus Haas said the disjoin was a decision to elect a local service to maintain its masts and infrastructure. It is expected to work with GfTD; a smaller, German firm.

The contract loss is just one example of Western telecom companies parting ways with Chinese manufactures in recent months. It follows British Telecom’s decision to strip Beijing-based Huawei equipment from its 4G mobile network, after the US government advised telecom operators not to purchase the firm’s products earlier this year.

Western countries are growing increasingly wary of Beijing’s involvement in telecoms infrastructure, with alleged links to Chinese intelligence services. Australia, New Zealand and Japan have chosen not to involve rival firm Huawei in their 5G rollout, amid security fears.   

ZTE is hoping to a secure another big German contract with network provider United Internet, as the European company prepares to auction licenses for upcoming 5G mobile internet frequencies.