Vodafone CEO says banning Huawei could set Europe’s 5G rollout back another two years – CNBC

What happened: Vodafone boss Nick Read said banning Huawei from providing 5G infrastructure projects in Europe could be “hugely disruptive” to national infrastructure and consumers and could delay 5G roll-out in Europe by probably around two years. The CEO of the world’s second largest mobile operator showed his support to the Chinese company at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday. He also called on US to share what it knows about Huawei’s security risks with Europe for “a fact-based risk-assessed review.”

Why its important: Huawei, Nokia, and Ericsson are the three largest telecommunications equipment providers in the world. Banning Huawei from providing 5G infrastructure in Europe would hamper competition in the supply chain. Previously, Huawei’s 5G equipment was prohibited in the US, Australia, and New Zealand over security concerns. However, top UK and New Zealand officials last week defended Huawei’s bid to develop 5G networks in their countries. In a recent roundtable with media, Huawei Chairman Liang Hua reaffirmed the company “never” received requests from the Chinese government to employ a backdoor in its products and that the company would not accept such a request as there’s no law in China that would require it to do so.

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen