Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read (pictured, right) argued scrutiny of Huawei was holding back European technology development, which would ultimately result in jobs migrating away from the continent.

Speaking at a Vodafone 5G event in Brussels attended by members of the European Parliament and Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri (pictured, centre), Read noted the US had little to lose by excluding Huawei because the vendor’s kit is not deployed “in any large scale in any of their networks”, while its domestic market of China “is of a scale of itself”.

As a result, Europe is “the only region that’s severely held back” by scrutiny of the vendor.

In January, Vodafone paused the installation of Huawei equipment in its core network due to what Read said at the time was “noise” around the vendor’s security credentials.

At the event in Brussels, Read warned European technology jobs would be lost if companies aren’t allowed to take a vendor agnostic approach to 5G. “This is competitive. We have to strengthen our ICT and digital capabilities to enable our fantastic leading manufacturing and research and development base”.

“We have to enable in this window of opportunity to compete against the US and China, or the moment goes. Then, in the end jobs and the opportunities will move to the US and China.

“Let’s make sure we don’t hold back 5G. This is enabling Industry 4.0 and if we want to compete against China and the US we need a range of diverse technology.”