SoftBank to drop Huawei from 5G network favouring Nokia, Ericsson

SoftBank Group plans to replace 4G network from Huawei Technologies with telecom equipment from Nokia and Ericsson, Reuters reported citing a Nikkei report.
Huawei 5G for innovationSoftBank, the third largest telecom operator in Japan, will also order equipment for its  5G network from the two European suppliers instead of Huawei. SoftBank is currently doing 5G trials with Huawei.

A SoftBank spokesman said the report was “based on speculation and no decision has been made”.

Finland-based Nokia and Sweden-based Ericsson are already big suppliers to SoftBank.

SoftBank has previously said that the amount of equipment it uses from Chinese makers is relatively small. Huawei is the largest telecom equipment maker with 28 percent share. Nokia is the second telecom equipment maker.

SoftBank will be replacing the 4G equipment from Huawei over several years. The process will be a time-consuming and expensive process.

This week, SoftBank’s telecoms unit priced its IPO at an indicated 1,500 yen ($13.22) per share and said would sell an extra 160 million shares to meet demand, raising about $23.5 billion in Japan’s biggest-ever IPO.

Japan is preparing a policy document aimed at preventing government procurement from Huawei as well as China’s ZTE, Reuters reported earlier.

Japan’s government has no plan to ask private companies to avoid buying telecom equipment that could have malicious functions, such as information leakage, Yoshihide Suga, its top spokesman, said on Thursday.

U.S., Australia and New Zealand have blocked Huawei from building 5G networks amid concerns of its possible links with China’s government. Huawei has said Beijing has no influence over it.