February 5, 2020
Europe’s Vodafone will remove Huawei from its ‘core’ network.
The telecom giant said it will spend five years and €200 million, or about $220 million, in order to comply with new rules in Europe.
- The U.K. recently banned Huawei from its "core" 5G infrastructure and the EU has recommended its member states do the same, in response to concerns about the company's ties to the Chinese government. (A network's "core" is where sensitive data is processed.)
- Vodafone said that only a small amount of U.K. equipment needed to be changed, with most of the work taking place across Europe.
- Perhaps more problematic would be if other countries in the EU adopt another U.K. rule, which limits use of Huawei equipment on the network's "periphery" — the stations and antennas that connect devices to the core — to a 35 per cent market share. The British telecom provider BT, which is over that cap, has said it will spend £500 million, or about $650 million, replacing such equipment. Vodafone said a Europe-wide ban could delay 5G launches by up to five years.
- Huawei, meanwhile, is trying to keep European nations happy: On Tuesday, its European vice president Abraham Liu said it would open 5G factories in Europe, to provide "5G for Europe made in Europe."
- Given the EU's suggested limits aren't binding, it will be interesting to see if Huawei can maintain some goodwill on the continent.