Reports: Huawei wins 5G contracts with Vodafone-Italy and Malaysia

Reuters reports that Vodafone’s Italian division has secured conditional approval from Rome to use equipment made by China’s Huawei in its 5G radio access network, two sources close to the matter said.

Italy can block or impose tough conditions on deals involving non EU vendors under “golden powers,” which have been used three times since 2012 to block foreign interest in industries deemed to be of strategic importance.

The government of national unity led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi authorized the deal between Vodafone and Huawei on May 20, one of the two sources told Reuters, asking not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

As in similar deals, the government imposed a set of prescriptions including restrictions on remote intervention by Huawei to fix technical glitches and an extremely high security threshold, the source added. Vodafone and Huawei declined to comment.

The United States has lobbied Italy and other European allies to avoid using Huawei equipment in their next generation telecoms networks and to closely scrutinize rival ZTE, saying the companies could pose a security risk.  Huawei and ZTE strongly deny the allegations.

In the last 12 months, Italy has adopted a tougher stance on Huawei, while not banning it entirely from 5G infrastructure.

Under previous Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Rome prevented telecoms group Fastweb in October from signing a deal with Huawei to supply equipment for its 5G core network, where highly sensitive data is processed.

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In Malaysia a former deputy minister of international trade and industry, Kian Ming Ong, told Sydney Morning Herald it hadn’t seen any proof of vulnerabilities in Huawei’s network equipment.  He said the government was likely to select Huawei as prime supplier to its national wholesale 5G network.

Huawei would be selected by a specially formed 5G government agency as the majority provider for Malaysia’s so-called single wholesale network. Fellow Chinese company ZTE and Scandinavian heavyweights Ericsson and Nokia are among seven other potential vendors who have been asked to bid for the deal.

In a Nikeii Asia op-ed Huawei’s Vincent Peng wrote:

Huawei is caught in a rivalry between two great powers. Although U.S.-China relations may not thaw any time soon, it seems clear that the current administration is taking a more multilateral approach to the world than its predecessor did.

This gives us hope that there may eventually be a change in how the U.S. government chooses to treat Huawei and other global technology companies headquartered outside of the United States.

To register for Huawei’s Finance Summit 2021:

https://e.huawei.com/topic/2021-event-fsi-summit/en-ap/index.html

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References:

https://www.reuters.com/technology/italy-gives-vodafone-5g-deal-with-huawei-conditional-approval-sources-2021-05-31/

https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/no-concrete-proof-of-espionage-malaysia-on-verge-of-huawei-5g-deal-20210531-p57wn4.html

https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Huawei-to-Joe-Biden-Let-s-talk

https://e.huawei.com/topic/2021-event-fsi-summit/en-ap/index.html

 

One thought on “Reports: Huawei wins 5G contracts with Vodafone-Italy and Malaysia

  1. The espionage trial of Wang Weijing, a former Huawei employee ,got underway today in a Warsaw court.

    Wang, who is 39, stands accused of recruiting a former Polish Internal Security Agency cybersecurity expert, who passed on information about monitoring systems used in Polish classified communication networks.

    The trial judge granted a request this morning from prosecuting lawyer Anna Karlinska to close the case to the public, to protect Polish counterintelligence methods.

    Both men deny wrongdoing. Wang, who says the two men were simply good friends, remains in jail. The cybersecurity specialist was released on bond after six months.

    Wang, who was arrested in 2019, began in 2011 working for Huawei in Poland, which oversees its business in central and eastern Europe and the Nordic countries. Before that, Wang was attaché to China’s consulate in Gdańsk for five years.

    Huawei terminated Wang’s contract, and said his actions brought the company into “disrepute,” but has helped pay his legal fees. Wang’s lawyer, Bartlomiej Jankowski, says his client is collateral damage in Washington’s campaign against the Chinese telecom equipment and phone company.

    https://www.lightreading.com/security/ex-huawei-employee-spy-trial-starts-in-poland/d/d-id/769892?

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