Japan’s Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank to block Huawei and ZTE

NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank, Japan’s big three telecom operators, plan not to use current equipment and 5G network from China’s Huawei Technologies and ZTE, Reuters reported quoting Kyodo News.
Last week Reuters reported that Japan planned to ban government purchases of equipment from Huawei and ZTE to ensure strength in its defences against intelligence leaks and cyber attacks.

A SoftBank Group spokesman said Japan’s third-largest telco was watching government policy and is continuing to consider its options. The amount of equipment in use from Chinese makers is relatively small, he said.

NTT Docomo and KDDI said the firms had not made any decision yet.

Docomo does not use Huawei or ZTE network equipment. But Docomo has joined hands with Huawei on 5G trials in Japan.

KDDI does not use Huawei equipment in its core network, a spokeswoman said, adding it does not use any ZTE network equipment.

Huawei referred to a Japanese government policy document issued on Monday concerning cybersecurity during procurement. That document states the aim of a free, fair and secure cyberspace.

“These are ambitions Huawei shares and we look forward to continuing to work closely with customers in the Japanese market,” a Huawei spokesman said.

US Government has already banned Huawei from its purchases. 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.

Industry sources said SoftBank would find it difficult to replace pre-existing Huawei network equipment that is designed for the company and not easily interchangeable.

Earlier, SoftBank’s Japanese telecoms unit priced its IPO at an indicated 1,500 yen or $13.31 per share and said it will sell an extra 160 million shares to meet solid demand, raising about $23.5 billion in Japan’s biggest-ever IPO.