October 4, 2022
European Commission asks EU countries to diversify 5G suppliers

EU countries should take immediate action to diversify their 5G suppliers, the European Commission said on Friday, in a move to reduce Huawei’s presence in Europe as the United States sought to follow Britain and the Chinese company. to ban it from 5G network.

In November last year, the European Union agreed to take a tougher stance on 5G suppliers to reduce cybersecurity risks for next-generation mobile networks, seen as a key to boosting economic growth and competitiveness .

The strategy included reducing the dependence of countries and telecom operators on a single supplier. Huawei, the world’s number one telecommunications equipment maker, is competing with Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson.

The Commission said that some progress has been made, but a lot more work needs to be done.

“There is an urgent need for progress to reduce the risk of dependence on high-risk suppliers, with a view to reducing dependence at the (EU) Union level,” said the EU executive. Reporting on the progress made by the countries of the European Union.

“Challenges have been identified in designing and implementing appropriate multi-vendor strategies at the individual MNO (mobile network operator) or national level due to technical or operational difficulties,” it said, as some vary or country size. citing the lack of of problems.

Besides Britain, France is also imposing de facto sanctions on Huawei, sources told Reuters earlier this week.

The US says China could use the Shenzhen-based company’s gear for spying, allegations dismissed by Huawei.

EU officials said the phasing out of high-risk suppliers and additional costs would not lead to the roll out of 5G across the bloc and that Ericsson and Nokia would be able to cope with demand.

“If you look at the situation around the world, Nokia and Ericsson have a huge share of the world market in terms of contracts signed around the world on 5G deployment. Both certainly have 50 percent to 60 percent, 65 percent I think that two European suppliers can provide what is needed not only for Europe but also for a large part of the world, ”said one of the officials.

The Commission urged 13 EU countries to adopt without delay the Foreign Direct Investment Screening Mechanism, a tool that allows EU governments to intervene in matters of foreign direct investment in strategic assets, especially if states -controlled or state-financed enterprises.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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