Canada’s Telus considers government’s prospective Huawei ban an investment risk
Chinese tech company Huawei is making low-cost 5G networking equipment for wireless carriers. Governments have been wary of the company’s security measures preventing data leaks to Beijing, especially as a new law compels it to share data in secret — the United States considers it an outright threat. Some are banning the company from network tenders.
Canadian carriers, many of them already Huawei clients, have had to reconcile the appeal of its affordable products in their 5G networks with the government’s growing concerns, especially as it has had to arrest and quarter the company’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou, while the US pursues her extradition for sanctions-related fraud charges.
MobileSyrup reports that Telus has told investors in its fourth quarter earnings that it has yet to choose a vendor for 5G equipment as it awaits Ottawa’s cybersecurity audit of Huawei. If Huawei is deemed unfit to serve the market, Telus fears it will incur additional cost with less competition.
“In the case of a ban, there is a risk that the Canadian telecom market would undergo a structural change,” Telus stated, “as a reduction to an only two global supplier environment could permanently affect the cost structure of 5G equipment for all operators.”
Competitor Bell also reported in its fourth quarter earnings that it has yet to choose a 5G vendor, but still believes it will be able to deploy the technology in a timely manner.