Telekom Austria may consider Huawei, ZTE for 5G networks – COO

A1 Telekom Austria Group, a unit of America Movil, is open to considering Chinese telecom vendors such as Huawei and ZTE for upcoming 5G networks in several countries, Reuters reported.
A1 5G network BelarusTelekom Austria has not seen any pressure in most of the European countries it operates in though European governments have been tightening controls on Chinese tech companies building 5G networks following diplomatic pressure from Washington.

The United States accuses Huawei of facilitating Chinese spying – a claim the company and Beijing deny.

“For us it is very important to have markets where we have Chinese vendors to test the performance of the different networks in real time,” A1 Telekom Austria Chief Operating Officer Alejandro Plater said.

Chinese technology is cheaper and offers features that are better than their European counterpart, making it competitive, he said.

A1 Telekom Austria Group’s parent company, America Movil, called Huawei an excellent telecoms equipment provider last year.

Telekom Austria has 25 million customers across Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Belarus, Slovenia, Republic of Serbia and the Republic of North Macedonia.

Telekom Austria uses radio access networks from Chinese vendors in Bulgaria and North Macedonia for 4G networks, and equipment from European vendors like Ericsson and Nokia in countries such as Austria.

“We need several options, we cannot have only two,” Plater said.

North Macedonia has tightened its rules on telecoms, with a framework on 5G networks that calls on operators to gradually replace “untrusted” vendors.

“We have launched 5G in Austria, Bulgaria and we will launch in Slovenia, and for other countries we are still waiting to get the spectrum,” Plater said.