Vodafone Group recently announced it was suspending certain equipment purchases from Huawei.
Vodafone CEO Nick Read said there was a lot of “noise” around governments banning Huawei network equipment and the facts need to be established.
Vodafone is in talks with the company and various agencies and governments, following the pause on buying Huawei equipment for its core network, he said.
The move follows continued pressure from the US to prevent the use of Huawei equipment in broadband and telecoms networks, with many operators around the world reassessing their use of the Chinese company’s products.
Effect on Vodacom South Africa
MyBroadband contacted Vodacom after the Vodafone announcement – as Vodafone is the majority shareholder in Vodacom – to find out whether its operations will be affected by the Huawei pause, and Vodacom provided the following statement:
Against the backdrop of heightened political noise in Europe and wanting to make sure the industry is engaging in a fact-based discussion around this issue, Vodafone has decided to pause any new deployment of Huawei’s 5G equipment in its “core” in Europe.
Huawei South Africa on its network equipment
Speaking to MyBroadband, Huawei South Africa said it understands the security concerns of networks and governments, but can assure all stakeholders its network equipment meets the highest security standards.
“Even before the US stance escalated, we had been and will continue reassuring our customers that Huawei strictly complies with all applicable laws and regulations in our business operations in all countries we operate in,” said Huawei SA.
“Huawei continuously collaborates with operators, government, and regulators in South Africa and the continent to ensure end-to-end cyber security solutions tailored for our customers. Huawei has a 20-year track record of doing business in Africa, we’ve had no security breaches here or in the rest of the world to date,” it added.
It said that South Africa is a key market for Huawei and it is focused on increasing connectivity across the country. This will coincide with a spend of $2 billion over the next five years to improve software engineering capabilities and to maintain cyber security standards.
Networks want Huawei
Huawei said it has established a sustainable and trustworthy security assurance system across all aspects of its business, and its network equipment is in high demand.
“Huawei has secured 30 commercial contracts for 5G networks and has already shipped more than 25,000 base stations to markets around the world,” it stated.
“A large number of network customers globally have indicated they want Huawei. We are currently the market leader with the best equipment for faster and more cost effective upgrades to 5G and will remain so for a while to come.”