Sweden joins the list of countries that either banned or are considering banning the Chinese telecom giant Huawei from its 5G network. Sweden is in fact banning China’s Huawei and ZTE from its 5G networks on security grounds which is the same reason the United States and United Kingdom have banned them.
The Swedish telecom authority, the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) says it arrived at the conclusion based on advice from the Swedish Armed Forces that allowing the Chinese companies to participate in the upcoming 5g spectrum auction would be a big threat to Sweden’s national security.
When the United States first began pushing out Chinese technology two years ago, it asked allies, majorly European nations to consider banning Chinese tech in order to mount diplomatic pressure on China whom they have accused of unfair trade practises in the world in addition to stealing trade secrets through its spread of technology across the world.
The Chinese government and Huawei have not released any official statements yet but one would expect that it won’t be different from what they released when the UK banned them back in July.
This leaves room for companies like Ericsson and Nokia to step in and fill the vacuum Huawei would be leaving.
To this effect, the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority has now said that anyone participating in the auction must remove all Huawei and ZTE gears from their network by Jan. 1, 2025.
The auction which was planned for earlier this year has to undergo a security review and upon the review, it would now hold in November and would have any adverse effect on its overall 5G plan for Sweden. The companies that have so far been cleared to participate in the auction include Hi3G Access, Net4Mobility, Telia Sverig and Teracom on the 3.5 GHz and 2.3 GHz bands.
Nokia and Ericsson have not reacted as well to the news from Sweden but that said, Nokia has existing contracts with the three major telecom operators in China for 5G radio equipment supply and that may be at risk as the Chinese government may choose to retaliate. Nokia is a Finnish company while Ericsson is a Swedish one and while the news could make the United States authorities happy that more nations are joining it in the fight against Chinese tech, it may economically be a problem for many European nations who are in need of Chinese cash to develop some critical infrastructure. Politically speaking, there is a presidential election just two weeks away in the United States and no one knows for sure the outcome of that election and if the Democratic challenger wins, we don’t know just yet how he may relate with China and if all the bans will be reversed or kept in place.