Deutsche Telekom is reviewing its network equipment procurement plans after the United States moved to restrict China’s Huawei Technologies from accessing its mobile networks, Reuters reported.
The development assumes significance because Deutsche Telekom’s US business T-Mobile is currently awaiting the final approval from US authorities for buying smaller rival Sprint in a $26 billion deal.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere and Sprint chairman Marcelo Claure will testify at a hearing by two U.S. House panels — the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Judiciary Committee — on February 13. Two U.S. House panels will examine the merger’s potential impacts on consumers, workers and the wireless industry.
Deutsche Telekom’s network spending was €3.047 billion in Q3 2018 and €9.143 billion in the first nine months of 2018.
If Deutsche Telekom decides to remove Huawei from its telecom network, it will be a big blow to Huawei, the number one telecom network supplier in the world.
“Deutsche Telekom takes the global debate surrounding the security of Chinese network equipment very seriously. We have a multi-vendor strategy for network equipment. We are nonetheless reassessing our procurement strategy,” Telekom said on Tuesday.
Deutsche Telekom feared Europe could fall behind in the race to install 5G wireless networks if governments ban Huawei, Bloomberg on Tuesday reported.
Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read earlier said there will be substantial cost escalation if telecoms in Europe were forced to remove Huawei from their core networks.
The German government is debating whether to follow the United States and allies like Australia in restricting China’s Huawei Technologies from accessing its next-generation mobile networks on national-security grounds.
Earlier this month, Washington lawmakers introduced bills seeking to ban the sale of U.S. chips or other components to Huawei, ZTE or other Chinese telecommunications companies that violate U.S. sanctions or export control laws.