Saturday, 29 February 2020

Stripping Huawei from the core throughout Europe will cost Vodafone €200m

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Wednesday 05 February 20

Following the UK's Huawei decision, as well as EU guidance, Vodafone will be removing the Chinese giant from the core of its European networks

Last month’s decision by the UK government regarding Huawei’s limited role in the country’s 5G networks has been an expensive one for the nation’s operators.   BT recently reported that lowering Huawei’s presence in their RAN network to beneath the 35% cap imposed by the government would cost them around £500 million over the next 5 years…

Last month’s decision by the UK government regarding Huawei’s limited role in the country’s 5G networks has been an expensive one for the nation’s operators.
 
BT recently reported that lowering Huawei’s presence in their RAN network to beneath the 35% cap imposed by the government would cost them around £500 million over the next 5 years, and they are not alone in facing such expense. 
 
While Vodafone does not have Huawei equipment in the core of its UK network, CEO Nick Read has said that the company has nonetheless taken the decision to remove Huawei from the core across its European networks.
 
This decision is in line not only with the UK’s mandate to restrict Huawei to the peripheral network but also with the EU’s ‘tool box’ of recommendations they published last month.
 
The process will take around five years and cost approximately €200 million.
 
While Read was positive about the UK’s approach in differentiating the core and non-core in their ruling, he went on to warn Europe against adopting a similar 35% cap, which he described as “not optimal”.
 
“I wouldn’t want this for Europe," he said. "It would be highly disruptive.”
 
Such a policy, Read said, could result in a delay in European 5G deployment of between two and five years. As China and the US charge ahead with 5G, such a setback would be a minor disaster for European players in the connectivity sphere.
 
“The U.S. is racing ahead, China is racing ahead,” he said. “We can’t hold back our 5G deployment and therefore I think caps would be restrictive on that basis.”
 
With a host of European countries still on the fence regarding Huawei’s involvement in their domestic networks – including Germany, where Vodafone is a major player – multiple telcos could face significant expense if governments were to adopt a policy similar to the UK’s.
 
This news comes the same day as the UK’s digital minister Nicky Morgan announced that the UK would try to leverage its international allies to find Huawei alternative for its 5G tech.
 
“It may well be we have to work with our international allies as well to make sure we either get another provider who’s operating elsewhere to operate in the UK, or potentially to perhaps have another company that’s able to offer that equipment so that we are able to have that resilience in our system,” she said.
 
 
To find out the latest about the UK’s 5G infrastructure, be sure to check out the UK’s finest connectivity event, Connected Britain 2020
 
 
Also in the news: 

 

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