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German telecom chooses China’s Huawei to build its 5G network despite US pressure

Published: 12.12.2019

German telecom chooses China’s Huawei to build its 5G network despite US pressure

One of Germany’s leading mobile carriers, Telefonica Deutschland, is turning to Huawei and Nokia to help with the rollout of the national 5G network, ignoring US pressure to reject the Chinese firm.

“Telefonica Deutschland plans to rely on proven strategic partners Nokia and Huawei on its 5G access network,” the provider said in a statement on Wednesday. It added that the providers will have to comply with security requirements which are still to be determined by German regulators.

The decision comes as Washington alleges that Huawei poses a security risk and could be used by the Chinese government for spying, a charge the Shenzhen-based company has repeatedly denied. The US has already blacklisted the company, and is currently pressuring its European allies to follow suit.

While Telefonica Deutschland bets on Huawei, the German parliament is looking into introducing additional parliamentary oversight over the operations of the company. Berlin might also toughen security guidelines when it comes to 5G, potentially making the equipment from vendors subject to certification. Earlier, the German government defended the decision to allow Huawei access to its market, saying that it would not exclude Huawei from the rollout of 5G networks.

The unit of Spain’s Telefonica which operates under the O2 brand in Germany plans to launch the super-fast network in 2020. It will cover Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, and Frankfurt by the end of 2021. The next phase will see 5G infrastructure in 30 German cities with a total population of 16 million people by the end of 2022.

Last week, Portugal became the latest country to defy US warnings as it announced that it will not ban Huawei from building 5G networks. Earlier this year, Spain launched its first commercial 5G mobile services in the country using Huawei equipment. Leading Swiss operator Sunrise also rolled out a commercial 5G three-dimensional network in partnership with Huawei.

Source: RT/ CRN

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