Two Canadian telecommunication providers have decided not to procure equipment from Huawei Technologies for their 5G networks, in a major setback for the Chinese supplier’s business ambitions in that country.
Vancouver-based telecom Telus released a statement Tuesday saying it will adopt equipment from Ericsson and Nokia to build its fifth-generation infrastructure. The same day, Bell Canada announced it has chosen Ericsson as its 5G device source.
Both Telus and Bell use Huawei equipment for portions of their current networks. Telus in particular has run a 5G research center jointly with Huawei, but the Canadian carrier will distance itself from the Chinese supplier for the time being.
Their announcements follow a recent judicial ruling that blocked Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou’s attempt to end extradition proceedings to the U.S. Meng, accused of financial fraud, has been held by Canadian authorities since December 2018.
The Canadian government has yet to make a clear decision on whether or not to allow Huawei equipment in the nation’s 5G networks. Bell may still consider collaborating with Huawei in building the 5G infrastructure if the Canadian government green-lights such a partnership, according to local media, and Telus may follow suit as well.
Huawei has signed commercial 5G contracts with over 90 telecoms worldwide, mainly in Europe. The company is pouring resources into expanding its business outside of China.
The U.S. government has meanwhile lobbied allies to blackball Huawei, citing potential security risks. Even in Britain, where the government has allowed Huawei to participate its 5G network on a limited basis, a growing number of officials are calling for an outright ban against the technology group. – NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW