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Ericsson boss: UK’s Huawei attitude makes little sense

Jasper Hart
June 24, 2019

Niklas Heuveldop worries controversy is harming industry confidence

Allowing Huawei limited access to the UK’s 5G networks makes little sense, according to Ericsson’s North America CEO Niklas Heuveldop.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Heuveldop said that countries should either fully allow or fully deny companies access to their networks.

Last month it was suggested by leaked National Security Council reports that the government would recommend allowing Huawei to provide equipment to noncore parts of the network.

Heuveldop said that fulfilling 5G’s premise of low latencies and high speeds “depends on having a core network functionality highly distributed in your network”, and that core capabilities would be placed at the “very far edge” of the network to achieve this.

He added that it did not make sense for countries to try to distinguish between noncore and core areas of network infrastructure in 5G terms.

He said: “I don’t understand that. You need to make up your mind. What’s the problem you are trying to solve?”

Although Ericsson is a direct competitor of Huawei’s and that it might stand to gain from the Chinese manufacturers troubles, Heuveldop said that the overall controversy was harming confidence in the telecoms industry.

“I think the uncertainty is the problem – not if they are in or out,” he said. “Huawei is a formidable competitor – it’s good for the industry and it keeps us on our toes.”

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