Italy on Thursday approved its use of special powers in supply deals between 5G telecom service operators and 5G network suppliers including China’s Huawei and ZTE, Reuters reported.
Italy conducted 5G spectrum auction in October 2018, raising €6.5 billion or $7.5 billion for the country’s cash-strapped government.
Telecom Italia (TIM), Vodafone Group, CK Hutchison Holdings’s Wind Tre and France’s Iliad Swisscom AG’s Fastweb were the winners of 5G spectrum auction.
The new government in Italy adopted the measure on the first day of its business under a law passed by the previous government in July to broaden powers Rome has over companies of national interest.
The decision to strengthen Rome’s golden powers had reflected concerns over the potential involvement of Chinese equipment makers Huawei and ZTE in the development of 5G networks in Italy.
United States president Donald Trump and team have lobbied Italy and other European allies to stay clear of Huawei equipment and to also pay close scrutiny to ZTE, saying the vendors could pose a security risk. Both companies have strongly denied any such risk.
The new government, sworn in on Thursday, said in a statement it imposed conditions and requirements in relation to purchases of goods and services for 5G networks made by Vodafone’s Italian unit. It gave no further details.
It also imposed undisclosed requirements on accords between Wind Tre, a unit of CK Hutchison, and Huawei – the first time Italy’s special powers over 5G networks have affected the Chinese firm.
Italy said it would exercise special powers over Fastweb’s purchases of radio components from ZTE, supply deals signed by Linkem and accords agreed by former incumbent Telecom Italia for systems that could adopt 5G technologies.