Spark New Zealand announced today that it has decided to abandon plans to rely on Huawei exclusively for its 5G technology roll-out. Instead, its keeping Huawei as part of a three-company preferred list of equipment suppliers.
The drama began after the US accused Huawei of passing sensitive information to the Chinese government. This sparked huge national security concerns, and put off many countries from using the company in their 5G networks.
Nokia leads the way
Spark New Zealand has now decided that Nokia will kick off its 5G roll-out as the company already has government approval. Huawei remains a preferred supplier alongside Samsung.
Having said this, Spark is still awaiting government approval for the use of Huawei and Samsung equipment for its 5G networks. This could result in Huawei being rejected due to the concerns.
Previously, Spark’s attempt to use Huawei equipment ran into a roadblock in November 2018, when New Zealand’s intelligence agency rejected the proposal to use Huawei equipment. This was down to national security risks.
“What we haven’t yet done is put another application for Huawei,” Spark New Zealand said. “At the point at which we want to start using their equipment as part of this multi-vendor approach, we will put in another application.”
As the growing trend of Western countries banning Huawei continues, we could see Spark’s second proposal also rejected.
The company said 5G would be introduced in five areas in New Zealand’s South Island before Christmas, and in major centres from mid-2020.
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