Deutsche Telekom is reportedly reassessing its network equipment strategy at a time of growing security concerns about Chinese vendors, as the global pressure on Huawei increases.
In a statement to Reuters, Deutsche Telekom said it takes “the global discussion about the security of network equipment from Chinese vendors very seriously” and is reassessing its procurement strategy.
Deutsche Telekom, which is part state-owned, has taken a multi-vendor approach to its network kit, using equipment from Ericsson, Nokia, Cisco and Huawei.
However, the latter is facing escalating scrutiny from authorities around the world, which could propel Germany and its largest operator into action.
Bloomberg reported, citing sources, that France is also taking steps to ensure Huawei is kept out of key parts of the country’s 5G telecoms infrastructure through a series of legal and regulatory revisions.
The country’s largest operator, Orange, also reportedly confirmed it won’t use Huawei equipment for its 5G network.
Huawei has already faced bans from supplying equipment for future 5G builds in the US, Australia and New Zealand: operators in Japan also said this week they will also avoid the Chinese vendor.
The German government came under pressure to prohibit China-based companies including Huawei from participating in 5G network deployments from the US last month.
However, Germany reportedly saw no legal basis to bar any vendors from the country’s 5G market.
Deutsche Telekom holds a close relationship with Huawei: the companies are conducting a pilot 5G project ahead of the country’s auction of suitable spectrum, scheduled for 2019.
Notably, one of Deutsche Telekom’s biggest units is T-Mobile US, which is currently facing regulatory scrutiny as it attempts to merge with rival Sprint in a $26 billion deal.
This week, Huawei’s chief for Western Europe said the company was willing to make sweeping changes across its business to ease global security fears.