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27 July


Europe lags behind 5G technologists because of the US-Chinese trade war

The head of Tele2 said that maybe 5G - "is not something we need to do right now"

5G Photo: Reuters

/NOVOSTIVL/ The roll-out of 5G services across Europe has been slowed by US sanctions against Huawei and as European governments review the impact of using Chinese equipment, the head of Swedish telecoms group Tele2 said. This article appeared in the Reuters.

US President Donald Trump’s administration had targeted Huawei on security grounds but a partial lifting of restrictions was a key element of a weekend agreement to reopen stalled trade negotiations with China.

Tele2 CEO Anders Nilsson said the biggest impact of the restrictions and security concerns was being felt through a delay in 5G investment across Europe.

Tele2, Sweden’s second largest telecoms company which also operates in the Baltic countries, has been delaying on striking deals with equipment suppliers.

"We have a global supply chain, so whoever you buy equipment from you will find components from China. Even if we buy equipment from Ericsson, which is our neighbour here, you will find Chinese hardware and parts in that equipment," he told Reuters at Tele2’s Stockholm headquarters.

He also said he had no plans to stop selling Huawei handsets as US sanctions had not led to any significant drop in sales or impact in demand.

5G roll-out has been billed as transformative for the telecommunications industry, resulting in a 10-fold increase in data transfer capacity that would help enable self-driving car fleets and smart factories.

Nilsson said that consumers were likely to face higher prices if governments banned Huawei, limiting competition to Nordic suppliers Ericsson and Nokia.

"From our perspective, the main reason to do 5G right now is because it is a good way to build capacity, but we can continue building capacity in 4G. So 5G is not something we need to do right now," he said in an interview before Sino-U. S. tensions eased over the weekend.