Huawei says remains focused on supporting Vodafone's 5G rollout

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Vodafone's chief executive officer Nick Read said on Friday after reporting third-quarter results that the debate was playing out at a "too simplistic level", adding that Huawei was an important player in an equipment market which it dominates along with Ericsson Sweden's Ericsson and Nokia. Huawei has denied allegations its kit could be used by the Chinese government to spy on users.

The move by Vodafone follows a decision by BT Group Plc to rip Huawei gear out of the core of its mobile network in the U.K. Deutsche Telekom AG has said it's reviewing its purchasing strategy in light of the concerns over Huawei and Orange SA has said it won't start using Huawei in its business in France. "Vodafone and Huawei are long-term strategic partners that have worked together since 2007", said a spokesman by email. "We are taking this moment to pause Huawei further building the core, only in Europe, while we engage with security agencies, government and Huawei". Meng has maintained that Huawei had no connection or involvement.

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The greatest concentration of data lies in the core networks, which are more security-sensitive.

However, Read said that Vodafone had already agreed terms with a range of 5G suppliers, so moving away from Huawei in parts of the rollout would not incur additional costs. He believes that Huawei can commercialize 5G on a large scale because of breakthroughs in core technologies and key performances.

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Huawei's consumer division chief Richard Yu told reporters in Beijing on January 23rd, 2019 that current tensions - including a potential presidential executive order banning the company from selling telecom equipment in the USA - ultimately won't harm the company.

Huawei chief finance officer Meng Wanzhou was also arrested in Canada in December on allegations of violating United States sanctions against Iran, which she and Huawei have sharply condemned.

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In January this year, Huawei sacked an employee who had been arrested in Poland on suspicion of spying. However, if it came to pass that Huawei equipment could not be used in its radio access networks - the towers and equipment for 4G and 5G networks - the impact would be huge.