Huawei, ZTE ban will affect mobile networks in Germany, German ministry fears

The ban on some components by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE could have a significant impact on Germany’s mobile networks if they had to be largely replaced, according to a letter from the German economy ministry seen by Reuters.

The German government is currently conducting a review of telecom technology suppliers, which it says is not directed at specific manufacturers.

The letter to the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament’s economic committee, said that if sweeping changes are required as a result of the ban or regulation, “there is likely to be a significant impact on the operation of mobile networks and the fulfillment of coverage requirements.”

The ministry said, it is not possible to assess the exact impact on mobile operators and other economic players, as it depends on individual decisions as well as the transition period.

The government review could ask operators to remove and replace components already built into 5G networks. Under the present law, they will not get compensation.

Critics of Huawei and ZTE say their close ties to Beijing’s security services mean embedding them in mobile networks could give Chinese spies and even saboteurs access to essential infrastructure.

Huawei, ZTE and China’s government reject such claims, saying they are motivated by a protectionist desire to support non-Chinese rivals.

A few days ago it was reported that Germany is planning to ban telecom operators from using some components made by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE in 5G networks in a potentially significant move to address security concerns. .

The German ban may include components already built into the network, requiring operators to remove and replace them, Zeit Online reported, citing sources.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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