Another blow to Huawei. Vodafone, which is the second largest mobile operator in the world, has just given up the use of Chinese devices in its core network. However, this does not mean abandoning the Huawei 5G base stations and Chinese smartphones.
The Vodafone Group is one of the largest companies operating on the telecommunications market. The operator has its own networks in Europe, Africa and India. What makes it the second largest operator in the world. That’s why Vodafone is one of the most important customers for Huawei. However, the ongoing discussions in Europe caused that Nick Read (CEO of Vodafone) decided to stop cooperation with the Chinese in the field of telecommunications devices used in the operator’s core infrastructure. This decision is dictated by the doubts of European agencies responsible for cyber security. In this way, Vodafone secured itself against possible delays in the implementation of the 5G network.
The ban does not apply to the radio layer – Huawei base stations will stay in the network
Director of Vodafone remarked that the debate on Huawei is taking place at “too simplistic a level”. In short, this means that the allegations of espionage are too general and nobody has so far shown a comprehensive technical analysis that would describe the current problem. Perhaps the investigation conducted by the Polish agency will bring a new light to the matter. Therefore, the operators are restrained in making any decisions. This was noted by the boss of Ericsson, who recently warned about the possible slowdown of the implementation of the 5G network in Europe. Vodafone does not want delays. Therefore, the operator decided to reduce cooperation with Huawei.
The international operator Vodafone has made a fairly sensible decision. Changing the provider for a core network elements has small impact on the cost and time of implementing a new generation of networks. The company continues to cooperate in the field of Huawei base stations. However, for Chinese it means that their equipment must be 100% compatible with the 3GPP standard. Thanks to this, they should work without any problems with the core elements from other manufacturers, i.e. Nokia and Ericsson. Nick Read also noted that the decision was not enforced by any agency or regulator. In addition, the operator did not notice any concerns about the use of Huawei devices in Africa and the Middle East.