Telefonica Spain Replaces Huawei 5G Kit For Ericsson Gear

Telecoms giant Telefonica has confirmed a media report that it has begun to replace some 5G equipment from Huawei in its home market of Spain.

A source told Reuters on Monday that Telefonica has purchased 5G network equipment from Ericsson to replace some of the Huawei gear it has rolled out in Spain, confirming a report in Expansion newspaper.

The Spanish telecoms firm however said the replacement of the Huawei kit is part of its strategy announced 2019 to diversify suppliers.

Equipment replacement

The Expansion report stated the telecoms company had initially rolled out some Huawei equipment that it had already bought before seeking to secure alternative supplies.

The source at Telefonica reportedly declined to say how much equipment Telefonica bought from Ericsson or when the purchase was made.

Huawei and Ericsson’s Spanish unit did not immediately respond to requests for comment, Reuters reported.

Despite Telefonica stating the move was part of its strategy to diversify suppliers, it comes after the United States under both Donald Trump and then President Joe Biden, continue to urge mobile operators around the world not to use its 5G equipment over concerns its kit could be used for espionage by the Chinese government.

Huawei for its part has always denied it poses a national security risk, but the American campaign against it has badly hindered the deployment of its 5G equipment in European countries.

Telefonica insisted in 2019 when it announced its supplier diversity strategy that its decision was purely technical in nature and that it had seen no evidence to support the American allegations that Huawei gear posed a security risk.

Huawei blacklisting

There is no doubt the American campaign against Huawei and other Chinese technology firms, has had an impact on the Chinese outfit.

In August this year, Huawei vowed to return to the smartphone ‘throne’, despite no change in sanctions against the firm from the United States.

It came after Huawei reported its largest-ever drop in revenues in the first half of 2021, in part due to the sale of its Honor smartphone brand.

The US added Huawei to an export blacklist in 2019, saying it was a national security threat, making it difficult for the Chinese company to access components such as microprocessors that use US design or manufacturing technology.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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