O2 to test Huawei 5G equipment in London – Financial Times
What happened: Mobile operator O2 will push ahead its 5G trial deploying Huawei equipment at 200 sites across London. An O2 spokesperson said the company is doing similar things with all vendors to optimize its network. O2’s rivals EE and Vodafone have also launched 5G trails, aiming for commercialization by 2019. British telecommunication provider Three UK has signed a deal with Huawei for it €2 billion (around $2.3 billion) 5G network. However, EE, backed by mobile operator BT, sought to strip Huawei from its core networks.
Why it is important: Huawei has faced increasing geopolitical pressure amid the arrest of its CFO and moves to block its equipment in international markets. The roadblocks have spread to various US allies, including Australia and New Zealand, which have sought to limit the use of Huawei’s equipment within their 5G networks. Authorities around the world are concerned about the company’s alleged ties to Beijing. However, India, which originally excluded Huawei from testing 5G in the country, has subsequently granted the telecommunications giant the approval necessary to begin deployment.