SK Telecom (SKT), the largest mobile operator in South Korea, selected Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia as its 5G network equipment suppliers, leaving China-based Huawei off the list, Yonhap News Agency reported.
Local media reported in early September the country’s three major mobile operators were planning to announce their 5G network equipment suppliers this month.
SKT said in a statement the decision was based on technological capability as well as financial factors, but offered no specific reason for omitting Huawei, Yonhap News Agency said. It was the first operator to name its 5G suppliers.
KT is yet to name its suppliers, while LG Uplus (which uses 4G gear from Huawei), is expected to select the Chinese vendor as one of its 5G network equipment providers.
Both SKT and KT deployed 4G LTE equipment from Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia,
Following Australia barring China-based equipment vendors from participating in the country’s rollout of 5G mobile infrastructure over national security concerns, Korean operators are reportedly reconsidering their 5G network vendor options. Potential security concerns regarding Chinese vendors were first raised by the US government. South Korea is a major US ally.
Officials in Japan responsible for cybersecurity in the government’s Cabinet Office are reportedly conducting a study to determine if additional regulations are needed to reduce security risks from using network equipment from Chinese companies.
Meanwhile, India’s Department of Telecommunications left Huawei and ZTE off a list of partner vendors for 5G trials, possibility indicating the government could follow the US and Australia by keeping the Chinese companies out of the next-generation rollouts, The Economic Times reported.
With pressure from Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT for the operators to collaborate on 5G technology to meet a previously agreed timeline for commercial operations in March 2019, the three companies announced in July plans to work together to launch 5G networks at the same time in 2019.Subscribe to our daily newsletter