Huawei has become the target of an aggressive trade ban by the United States in the latest step taken by the global superpower against the company.
The US has regularly criticised Huawei, claiming that its network equipment is possibly being used by the Chinese government to spy on other countries.
Huawei has denied these claims, as well as allegations that it has been stealing technology from other companies – going as far as to suggest that it is US companies who have been stealing trade secrets from Huawei.
The new trade restrictions have forced several American tech companies who have business relations with Huawei, including ARM, Google, and Microsoft, to terminate their interactions with the Chinese company.
Huawei technology is used by South Africa’s leading mobile networks, and is considered to be the best option for 5G networks.
MyBroadband asked South African mobile operators if the recent US action against Huawei has affected their attitude towards using Huawei network equipment.
Rain chief marketing officer Khaya Dlanga said that Rain’s relationship with Huawei remains strong, and the network does not see this relationship changing.
“We do not have any concerns nor do we plan to stop using Huawei equipment while building our network as much as the rest of the world has no plans to,” said Dlanga.
“Much like us, the European Union has not seen any validity in the claims that Huawei poses any security risks.”
“We remain confident that our network will stay secure. Breaches sometimes occur, Rain has a strong team of internal experts who react immediately should they become aware,” Dlanga added.
Dlanga added that Rain values its relationships with both Nokia and Huawei, both of which are helping to build its 5G network.
MTN has said that it finds the situation between the US and Huawei to be unfortunate, and will continue to monitor the matter and determine the best way forward.
“MTN is committed to offering seamless operations and has taken the necessary measures across its operating companies, working with Huawei and relevant partners, to try and ensure continued service to our customers,” said MTN.
“The company will continue to monitor the situation and engage the relevant authorities and partners with a view to keep our customers and key stakeholders updated on an on-going basis.”
A Vodacom spokesperson told MyBroadband that the network is aware of the US Executive Order and the decisions made by the US Department of Commerce against Huawei.
“We are reviewing these developments and will be assessing any potential implications for Vodacom,” said Vodacom.
“Selection and assessment of vendors, their performance and their security, is naturally part of our risk assessment and building network resilience,” added the network.
Cell C and Telkom
MyBroadband asked Cell C and Telkom for comment, but the companies did not respond by the time of publication.