New Zealand operators still list Huawei as one of preferred suppliers after one year of ban

Sparks, the country’s telecoms operator, has announced it will scrap its plan to rely solely on Huawei to support 5G, but will keep the latter on the list of three preferred equipment suppliers, with Two of Its preferred devicesuppliers, Nokia and Samsung, Reuters reported on Nov. 18, a year after New Zealand’s intelligence services issued a ban. But the company has yet to file an application for a device using Huawei or Samsung.

As part of its phased implementation strategy, Spark said it would launch a 5G service with Nokia and had been approved by the New Zealand government. Spark has also been evaluating Cisco and Ericsson to meet its goal of launching its first commercial 5G service by July 1 next year.

In fact, the Observer notes that multi-vendor strategies are a consistent practice for telecom operators. For example, the British government has proposed to promote “diversification of the telecommunications supply chain”, with China Mobile having the largest winning equipment in its 2019 centralized procurement of 5G NSA feature upgrades, followed by Ericsson, Nokia and ZTE in fourth place.

As for Spark’s approach, industry insiders told the Observer today that Nokia has a relatively small market share in New Zealand. He further predicted that if New Zealand “lost” Huawei, it is likely to create the country’s 5G market “oligarch” or even “monopoly” pattern, and will lead to higher data charges, will eventually be paid for by New Zealand consumers.

New Zealand operators still list Huawei as one of preferred suppliers after one year of ban

Reuters reported screenshots

Responding to Spark’s decision, Huawei’s New Zealand deputy general manager, Andrew Bowater, told the New Zealand Herald on the same day: “Huawei and Spark have maintained a close relationship over the past six years and we are pleased to have the opportunity to continue this relationship in the future. The best experience for New Zealand customers. “

“Huawei has signed 65 global delivery contracts for 5G networks, at least 60% of which are in Europe. “The full roll-out of 5G will take years, which gives Huawei a lot of room to participate widely, ” says Mr Bowat. “

New Zealand operators still list Huawei as one of preferred suppliers after one year of ban

Screenshot of the New Zealand Herald report

Spark has spoken out against Huawei

Spark’s plans to use Huawei’s devices hit a major hurdle in November when New Zealand intelligence vetoed Spark’s proposal to use Huawei devices on national security risks. In view of this, Spark was asked to recalibrate its 5G plan.

The telecoms operator later issued a statement saying the new New Zealand government’s decision by the Communications Security Authority (GCSB) meant Spark would not be able to implement plans to use Huawei’s devices in the construction of 5G networks. Spark expressed disappointment at the decision and will consider reapplying.

Simon Moutter, Spark’s chief executive, who spoke out against Huawei in November, said: “While we haven’t made a decision on 5G technology partners, we see no reason why Huawei is not among the suppliers we are considering inviting.” “

While acknowledging that the final decision on the incident was with the New Zealand government, Moutter said: “We hope the government does not exclude Huawei because there is no conclusive evidence that their technology poses a security risk.” “

It is reported that Spark has been working with Huawei for 10 years, Moutter has always held a positive attitude towards Huawei, that Huawei is a very good partner, the price of products is very competitive, and the customer’s requirements are very responsible, providing good business value.

Meanwhile, Simon Bridges, New Zealand’s opposition leader, said banning Huawei from building 5G networks could have an impact on the quality and price of New Zealand’s mobile networks. He said Huawei was a leading supplier of telecommunications equipment and there was no conclusive evidence of a safety problem.

Huawei has published a full-page ad response

After the ban from New Zealand’s intelligence services, Huawei ran full-page advertisements in various local media and cited it as a “national sport” – rugby: “Without Huawei’s 5G, it’s like rugby without New Zealand.” “

The ad adds: “Without Huawei, New Zealand would miss out on the most advanced 5G technology and consumers may even spend more money on 5G.” “

At the time, many media outlets, including Radio New Zealand and New Zealand Television, used the word “hit back” to describe Huawei’s public relations efforts.

New Zealand operators still list Huawei as one of preferred suppliers after one year of ban

Huawei advertises in New Zealand media

In August, the New Zealand Herald reported that after Spark’s application to use Huawei’s equipment was rejected, Huawei also wrote to new Zealand censors explaining the “economic impact” that Huawei could have on New Zealand if it was forced to withdraw from the country’s market.

The letter said it was “arbitrary and capricious” to target Huawei alone. Such an approach would affect Huawei’s revenueand, leaving the company at “real risk” of having to pull out of New Zealand.

“The panel has looked at the impact of the economy and the wider sector, including rising costs, higher consumer prices and, frankly, the overall performance will be more mediocre,” said Mr Bowat, Huawei’s new Zealand vice-president. “

He noted that the letter should not be interpreted as a threat. “We still want to stay here… We still have contracts and we will continue to support our customers and stick to them. But what we’re saying is that New Zealand may miss out on the best technology. “

In a statement, GCSB Minister Andrew Little said the GCSB’s decision was made on a “specific basis.” “It is up to Spark to mitigate the network security risks identified by GCSB. “

New Zealand Prime Minister: We are not Australia

Responding to U.S. pressure on allies to block Huawei, New Zealand’s prime minister, Adn, said in an interview with the Japan Economic News in September that New Zealand had not “engaged in dialogue” with the United States. “New Zealand has its own legal system and foreign policy,” she stressed.

Mr Ardern said the government’s approval of 5G construction “will be judged on the basis of the legal framework and not from a political point of view”. She added: ” (The government) will not make a statement that overrides the judgment of the intelligence community, it is not necessary and inappropriate.” “

It is worth noting that New Zealand is a member of the Five Eyes Alliance, which australia banned Huawei from supplying equipment to Australia’s 5G mobile network last August, citing security concerns. In response, Ardern stressed: “New Zealand is different from Australia. “

Earlier, in an interview with CCTV in April, Mr Ardern said there were some people who said Huawei products were banned in New Zealand, but that was not the case. Huawei products are sold in New Zealand and Huawei operates locally, “but this new application is in the process of reviewing the application from our regulatory body to deal directly with applications from local suppliers”.

On whether we will be influenced by the U.S. position, Ardern went on to point out that we have our own independent foreign policy.

“Regardless of the position of other countries, we have our own procedures. Whatever the position of others, we will firmly decide our actions and policies. We are not under pressure in this regard and new Zealand will not change its position, even if it is. She said.

Despite the U.S. siege of Huawei, the latter’s performance has been healthy.

On November 11, Liu Wei, vice president of Huawei’s Canadian public relations department, told the that Huawei currently has 65 commercial 5G contracts worldwide, ahead of its peers. The company last month reported revenue growth of 24.4 percent year-on-year, as it reported revenue for the third quarter of 2019.

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