Sprint and T-Mobile parents pledge to excise Huawei equipment to score merger approval
While T-Mobile does not use Huawei telecommunications equipment and Sprint has only recently cut out its cache, we’ve been hearing movements from their respective parent companies who are supplied by Huwaei to that front.
Now, Reuters reports from its sources that Deutsche Telekom and Japan-based SoftBank will offer to remove Huawei products from all networks that they own. The two are seeking approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to merge Sprint and T-Mobile into one carrier.
Huawei has been targeted by members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance — Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and, most prominently, the United States — as a potential threat to cybersecurity. The company was founded by a former People’s Liberation Army soldier, is majority-held by state-owned China Mobile and is thought to be easy to cave to pressure from the government when it comes to carrying out surveillance, data siphoning and other surreptitious acts.
Its CFO, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada two weeks ago and could be extradited to the United States to face charges related to defrauding financial institutions regarding the breach of Iranian trade sanctions. Meng is free on bail.
Huawei has denied claims of unscrupulous behavior. Several governments have blocked the company from bidding on 5G infrastructure tenders.
Meanwhile, Sprint and T-Mobile will still have to deal with the Department of Justice as well as the FCC for reviews on how they treat and will treat smaller carriers who buy wholesale access to their networks and if a new home internet service strategy will affect the combined company’s competitive standing in the telecom industry.