Swiss telecommunications provider Sunrise is deploying 5G networks in 150 cities and villages in Switzerland, with the help of Chinese telecommunication infrastructure supplier Huawei. It’s supposed to be ready by March.
This is the first time that Huawei disclosed concrete information on its engagement in a European country’s 5G networks. The firm is now pitching more telecom operators in this continent to work with its 5G tech at the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Spain while facing pushback from the United States. US delegates say Huawei’s tech can’t be trusted as it might be exploited by the Chinese government for spying.
European telcos seem less concerned. Huawei revealed earlier that it has won 18 commercial 5G contracts from Europe.
On Monday, British telecom operator Vodafone’s CEO Nick Read said during a press conference at MWC that excluding Huawei as a supplier of 5G infrastructure to Europe’s communications networks could limit options in the supply chain and delay 5G roll-out on the continent by two years. Vodafone ran a 5G test in collaboration with Huawei during the event.
Ironically, in the US, 5G infrastructure will largely be built by Nordic equipment makers Nokia and Ericsson, which the US considers safer alternatives.