Joining the ranks of other European countries, Sweden has become the latest country to ban Chinese telecom groups Huawei and ZTE from its 5G mobile networks.
According to the reports, Sweden’s telecoms regulator on Tuesday said they have decided to ban Huawei and ZTE from new installations ahead of next month’s 5G spectrum auctions after country’s armed forces and security services advised them.
Accusing China of spying and ‘technology theft’, the telecom regulator has now given directions to telecoms operators to remove equipment made by the companies from their existing infrastructure for core functions by 2025.
The Swedish telecom regulator said that four wireless carriers who are expected to bid for frequencies in an upcoming spectrum auction for the new 5G networks must not use equipment from Huawei or ZTE. The ban on Chinese equipment now opens opportunities for Huawei’s main rivals, the Swedish company Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia.
Klas Friberg, head of Sweden’s security services, said that China is one of the biggest threats to Sweden. He added that China was aiding its economic development and military capabilities by “extensive intelligence gathering and theft of technology, research and development”.
“This is what we must consider when building the 5G network of the future. We cannot compromise with Sweden’s security,” Friberg added.
Sweden follows US and European countries to ban Chinese 5G infrastructure
The ban against Chinese tech-giants by Swedish authorities comes after western countries, including the US and its allies, had decided to exclude Chinese telecoms equipment from the planned new 5G mobile networks.
Many European countries, joining hands with the US, have been imposing strict controls over Chinese companies developing 5G networks, alleging that Huawei and ZTE equipment may be used by Beijing for spying.
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had designated Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. as national security threats, in a move to drive out the Chinese manufacturers from the US market. Earlier in May, the US administration had issued an order barring Huawei and its suppliers from using American technology and software.
In July this year, the United Kingdom had ordered to remove Huawei equipment from its 5G network by 2027, becoming one of the first European countries to do so.
Jio joins hands with Qualcomm to develop 5G
Amidst the ban on the Chinese tech-giants Huawei and ZTE Corp, Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Platforms Ltd. has joined hands with networking major Qualcomm Inc. to develop 5G solutions and accelerate efforts to bring the high-speed network to the world.
In a statement, Jio said that it’s wholly-owned US-based unit Radisys Corp. has partnered with Qualcomm Technologies to “fast track the development and roll-out of indigenous 5G network infrastructure and services in India. It also added that they have achieved over 1Gbps milestone while conducting trials on the Jio 5G NR solution, leveraging the Qualcomm 5G RAN Platforms.
Jio and Qualcomm also said that they intend to work together to fast-track the development and roll-out of indigenous 5G network infrastructure and services in India. Currently, only a few countries, including the US, South Korea, Australia, Switzerland and Germany offer 1 Gbps speeds to 5G users.
With Jio venturing into developing 5G network and its support infrastructure, India need not to rely on equipment developed by Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE, thus removing a potential security threat to country’s infrastructure. India is expected to auction 5G airwaves in 2021.