Ericsson’s CEO also said that rollout of 5G in European markets could experience a slow down due to regulatory issues
Political troubles being faced by Chinese vendor Huawei could affect the investment climate by telecom operators globally seeking to deploy 5G technology, Ericsson’s CEO Borje Ekholm told CNBC.
In an interview with the news outlet, Ekholm said that efforts by a number of governments to ban Huawei have sparked a high level of concern among operators.
“What you see right now is that all operators around the world start to say, ‘Okay, what does this mean?’, so it creates a lot of uncertainty. We haven’t really seen anything in our order books, but we see worried customers, and concerned customers. I think that [this]is never good for the investment climate,” the executive said.
Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei, recently warned employees about potential job cuts as additional countries are looking to ban the use of the firm’s 5G equipment in core networks.
A number of countries including the U.S., Canada, Japan the U.K., Germany, Australia and New Zealand have already taken certain steps to block or limit purchases of network equipment from Huawei and ZTE, over security allegations. In a recent rare press conference with international journalists, Ren said that his company does not spy for the Chinese government and that it would not respond to improper government requests for information.
Ekholm also said that he was concerned about future 5G deployments in Europe, as regulators are only planning to award 5G spectrum in mid-bands in 2021 or 2022.
“That’s going to slow down 5G rollout in Europe. I think that runs the risk of threatening European competitiveness, not only in the telecom, but also in other industrial sectors,” the executive said.
“If you look at the world, we see the U.S and China racing ahead in 5G, and, by the way, you see Switzerland, also very early, you see Australia early, you see Japan, Korea early. I think they are realizing that 5G is actually a critical national infrastructure,” Ekholm added.
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