Vodafone, the world’s second largest mobile operator, will remove telecom equipment made by China’s Huawei from the core of its mobile networks in Europe.
Britain decided last week to exclude Huawei from core parts of the nation’s 5G network and also to cap its share of the market at 35 percent, insisting that high risk vendors would be excluded from sensitive activities.
London’s decision came shortly after Brussels said it also would allow Huawei only a limited 5G role in the European Union.
BT has also decided against using Huawei equipment in its core network in existing 4G network and 5G network in future. BT said it would take a $500 million hit over the next five years after the UK government limited Huawei’s 5G role.
Vodafone today said it would cost about 200 million euros or $221 million over five years to remove Huawei’s equipment from core 5G European business activities. Vodafone already launched its 5G services in seven European countries.
“We have now decided as a result of the EU toolbox and the UK government’s decision to take out Huawei from the core,” Vodafone Chief Executive Officer Nick Read told reporters on Wednesday.
“This will take around five years to implement at a cost of approximately 200 million euros or $221 million,” Nick Read said.
Nick Read said Vodafone had a very limited amount of Huawei in its core European infrastructure — but warned it would take time to remove and swap equipment without disrupting customers.
The company had already decided last year to pause Huawei usage in core networks in Europe.
“On 5G network security and supply chain resilience, I am pleased that the UK process was conducted on the basis of facts and evidence and informed by advice from the National Cyber Security Centre,” Nick Read said.
“Vodafone UK is already largely compliant with these measures and so we have very limited financial exposure, following our decision last year to pause Huawei in the core of our networks in Europe.”