We’re no stranger to the security concerns surrounding Huawei, and a lot of companies are taking allegations made against them very seriously. The company (alongside another Chinese brand ZTE) has found itself unable to be used by government contractors in the US, for example. Not only that, German officials are currently mulling over barring the company from helping to build 5G infrastructure, after Australia and the US did the same, citing national security concerns. Vodafone has taken those concerns very seriously, and for now, is pausing the deployment of Huawei-made equipment in their core network.
Huawei’s position in the mobile telecoms industry is close to a monopoly, with companies ultimately having to choose between three manufacturers. Huawei – who overtook Ericsson for the top spot – and then Nokia in third place are the three manufacturers that mobile network providers generally choose between for their telecoms infrastructure. Vodafone is currently looking to pause the deployment of equipment made by Huawei in their core networks, a task that may prove difficult given that the company makes up the majority of Vodafone’s infrastructure in smaller markets in Europe.
“Given that, we have decided to pause further[ing] Huawei in our core whilst we engage with the various agencies and governments and Huawei just to finalise the situation, of which I feel Huawei is [being] really open [about] and working hard [to fix],” said Vodafone Chief Executive Officer Nick Read.
Huawei’s response has been respectful and measured, as the company has had a long term partnership with Vodafone since 2007. A spokesperson for the company said that they understand that the pause is only temporary.
“Huawei is focused on supporting Vodafone’s 5G network rollouts, of which the core is a small proportion. We are grateful to Vodafone for its support of Huawei and we will endeavor to live up to the trust placed in us,” he said.