VIENNA (Reuters) – Deutsche Telekom is open to exchanging information with other companies to improve network security as the industry moves in the direction of super-fast 5G technology, the head of the European affairs said on Tuesday.
The Logo of German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom AG and MOBILE phone antennas are given the height of the headquarters of Deutsche Telekom in Bonn, Germany, February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang rattay
Telecom network security has become a hot political issue, after the United States alleged the equipment supplied by the chinese Huawei can be used by Beijing for spying and urged the allies to shun the company. Huawei strongly rejects the allegations.
Sources told Reuters the European Commission will urge the EU countries to more data to tackle 5G security risks, but will not call for a ban on Huawei.
“There is nothing more important to our industry than ensuring the safety of the networks we operate in,” said Srini Gopalan, with the launch of a 5G pioneer network in the Austrian capital, Vienna. The German company T-Mobile Austria is one of the three major telecom providers in the Alpine country.
“We would be happy to do anything productive and positive to improve it.”
The telecom industry sees 5G as the next big money spinner, with the promise to be everything from cars and household appliances.
Austria, an EU laggard for fast broadband connections, will a 5G pioneer in Europe. It is one of the first countries of the EU auction 5G licenses, and strives to make 5G services available on the main traffic routes by the end of 2023, with almost nationwide coverage by the end of 2025.
Austria is the flagship telecom group A1 has picked Nokia as a partner for the construction of 5G mobile networks.
Deutsche Telekom currently is depending on several suppliers, including Huawei for the equipment in the network, and the review of the procurement strategy after Washington’s accusations.
“Today We have multiple suppliers, including Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson in our networks,” Gopalan said. “When I said that we have the view of our purchasing what we assess is the mix of all of that.”
Deutsche Telekom said it would invest 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) by 2021 to a 5G network in Austria, and went to live on Tuesday the 25th of next-generation mobile network transmission stations in the country.
The third largest mobile telecom provider in Austria, Chinese group Hutchison Drei Austria said Tuesday that it would work with Chinese equipment maker ZTE Corp in the first phase of 5G network expansion, which is mainly speed up data services in densely populated areas.
For a next phase, which will provide the data speeds necessary for autonomous driving, Drei Austria submission of a quote, that Huawei could apply, the Chief Executive Jan Trionow said.
Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Tassilo Hummel and Mark Potter