Europe's 5G to cost $62b more if Chinese vendors banned: industry

10 June, 2019, 23:10 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Report says this is also expected to delay the technology by about 18 months

The move by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration comes as telecoms operators worldwide are gearing up for the arrival of the next generation of mobile technology, or 5G, which promises ultra-fast mobile internet for those able to make the heavy investment needed in networks and equipment.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology granted commercial-use 5G licenses on Thursday to China Broadcasting Network and the country's top three telecom operators - China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom.

Washington alleges Huawei's equipment can be used by Beijing for spying, something the company has repeatedly denied.

The European Union and its member states have so far not taken a formal position on whether or not to go along with the USA ban on Huawei equipment in their mobile networks.

The figure is part of a report by telecoms lobbying group GSMA and reflects the total additional costs implied by a full sale ban on Huawei Technologies and Chinese peer ZTE for the rolling out of the 5G networks in Europe.

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Huawei has already been locked out of the US market.

The two companies account for roughly 40 percent of the European Union market in their supplies of mobile equipment, with Huawei being "currently a pioneer in 5G technology", it says, adding that Sweden's Ericsson and Finland's Nokia, as well as South Korea's Samsung, don't have the capacity to deal with the shift from 3G and 4G networks to next-generation 5G in Europe while also honouring contracts already inked in Asia and North America. "This solution could reduce the cost and complexity of vendor changes", spokesman Eric Mangan said.

A ban would also delay the deployment of the technology by 18 months, reflecting comments made by BT CTO Howard Watson at Mobile News Xpo in March.

Huawei signage are pictured at a mobile phone shop in Singapore.

European rivals Ericsson of Sweden and Nokia of Finland, as well as South Korea's Samsung, do not have the capacity to handle all of the shift from 3G and 4G networks to 5G in Europe while honouring contracts already signed in North America and Asia, it said.

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