Deutsche Telekom, Orange refuse 5G infrastructure help from Huawei

Deutsche Telekom review comes as US regulators scrutinize the proposed $26 billion takeover by T-Mobile.

Huawei faces fresh challenges in Europe after Germany’s Deutsche Telekom announced it would review its vendor strategy and Orange said it would not hire the Chinese firm to build its next-generation network in France.

People walk past the logo of German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom AG seen at the Telekom's headquarters in Bonn February 25, 2016. Deutsche Telekom reported better than expected fourth-quarter results in its domestic market, helped by expansion of its super-fast broadband network, boosting take-up of bundled fixed line, mobile and Internet TV packages.    REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay - D1BESPBBDNAA

People walk past the logo of German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom. Reuters

The shift by the national market leaders, both partly state-owned, follows Huawei’s exclusion on national security grounds by some U.S. allies, led by Australia, from building their fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks.

US officials have briefed allies that Huawei is ultimately at the beck and call of the Chinese state, while warning that its network equipment may contain “back doors” that could open them up to cyber espionage.

The Deutsche Telekom review comes as U.S. regulators scrutinize the proposed $26 billion takeover by its T-Mobile US unit of Sprint Corp, which is controlled by Japan’s Softbank.

Softbank, which is days away from listing its wireless unit in Tokyo, plans to replace its 4G network equipment from Huawei, Nikkei has reported.

Huawei says the security concerns are unfounded. Tensions have been heightened by the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer in Canada for possible extradition to the United States.

“We don’t foresee calling on Huawei for 5G,” Orange CEO Stephane Richard told reporters in Paris. “We are working with our traditional partners - they are Ericsson and Nokia.”

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