Reports confirm that Telecom Italia (TIM) decided to exclude troubled Chinese manufacturer Huawei Technologies from its tender for supplying 5G core equipment of the network it is planning to build in Italy and Brazil.
Huawei, seemingly, has performed successful 5G testing with every leading carrier in Brazil, which includes TIM Brasil. The company is also helping the carriers modernize their infrastructure before the auction of 5G spectrum in the country.
Suppliers who were invited for TIMs tender include Nokia, Ericsson, Cisco, Affirmed Networks and Mavenir. The decision to exclude Huawei follows soon after sources claimed Italy was considering if allowing it to provide 5G equipment will give China a path to spy on key telecommunication infrastructure in the West.
Huawei, for its part, keeps defending its position and record as a private equipment provider and had said recently that the security and development of Italy’s digital infrastructure must be based on facts and not just any allegations.
A global skepticism regarding the use of Huawei products gathered pace in recent times after the U.S. government strongly began urging its allies not to deploy equipment from the Chinese telecom supplier for their next-gen communication solutions. The U.K. is expected to publish a government update this month on Huawei after allowing it a limited role in the establishment of 5G network in Britain.
French cybersecurity agency ANSSI’s head did not hint at a total ban for Huawei and its equipment for 5G network recently, but suggested that telecom companies in France were being encouraged to avoid using its products.
Core networks are supposed to be those where sensitive data is processed. The existing core network of TIM in Italy did not have Huawei participation, but excluding the company from Brazil tender could lead to a different path for the telco, as the Chinese supplier had provided 4G equipment for the core network of TIM Participacoes, TIM’s local subsidiary.