Investment climate, not for security, poses the greatest risk of 5G delay in Europe: Ericsson

FILE PHOTO: Ericsson Chief Executive Officer Borje Ekholm will hold a press conference during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Europe risks falling behind other regions in the roll-out of 5G mobile services because of the onerous regulation and weak investment, not as a result of concerns about the safety of the networks, Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm said.

High spectrum costs, legal uncertainty and a lack of investment, were more urgent problems, Ekholm said, referring to calls by the United States to prohibit Chinese suppliers of network on national security grounds.

“This has much more to do with the attractiveness of investing in 5G,” Ekholm told a press conference at the Mobile World Congress, the telecommunications industry is the most important annual meeting.

Ekholm took no position on the US calls on allies to ban Huawei Technologies, the global networking market leader, over concerns that they are too close to the Chinese state and the equipment can be used for cyber espionage.

“It is really do to the countries themselves to decide how their national security policy,” Ekholm said, adding that this is disturbing customers: “of course, is the current uncertainty in the effects.”

Reporting by Jack Stubbs and Douglas Busvine

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