Germany hasn’t yet to make the decision as to whether Huawei will be allowed to supply equipment for the country’s 5G roll-out. And despite pressure to make a decision, Angela Merkel has now delayed making a choice until 2020.
This comes after Telefonica Deutschland became the first German major mobile operator to publicly announce that plans to use Huawei equipment in its 5G network.
A solution by January
Despite Telefonica Deutschland choosing to go with Huawei, it will still require the go-ahead from the German government, which could delay 5G roll-out across the country. But by publicly stating its position, Telefonica Deutschland could tip things in Huawei’s favour.
Merkel hopes to toughen up the certification and scrutiny of telecoms equipment suppliers. However, she wants to do this without excluding a specific country or vendor, suggesting that Huawei will be allowed to supply equipment.
“I think we will have a solution in January,” Social Democratic lawmaker Jens Zimmermann has been quoted as saying. “We will have a common blueprint and it will be considerably more severe.”
CDU is divided
Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), appears to be divided on the Huawei 5G issue, with many thinking that it’s a risky security move to allow a Chinese company to play an integral role in the country’s 5G technology stack. Furthermore, the US has threatened to cut out intelligence sharing with Germany if it allows Huawei in.
Telecom operators are beginning to show frustration over the delayed decision surrounding Huawei. And many believe that it could add years of delays, and cost extra billions if Huawei is taken out of the picture. The issue lies in the fact that Huawei equipment is already so deeply ingrained within countries’ networks that it’ll be a huge job to replace it.
Huawei has always vigorously denied the security risk allegations, and 2020 could be a make-or-break year for Huawei’s networking business.
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