Ericsson chief Borje Ekholm (pictured) dismissed suggestions the company benefitted from a US campaign against rival equipment vendor Huawei, telling CNBC the spat actually had a negative impact on the market.
In an interview, the CEO insisted Ericsson had not received a “free ride” from the conflict, noting “so far there are very little effects on our order books”. He argued the situation had instead created “uncertainty in the market, reducing investments overall”.
“I hope we find a solution that allows the world to move forward,” he said, adding “security aspects are going to be critical in a 5G world”.
Over the past year, the US took steps to block Huawei from participating in 5G deployments in the country and pushed allies to do the same, citing security concerns.
Earlier in the day, Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei insisted the company is prepared to weather further attacks from the US, noting it “spent hundreds of billions of dollars to come up with a backup plan”.
However, Ekholm countered arguments Huawei’s exclusion from the market would hinder 5G progress, noting initial deployments of the technology in Europe and North America were powered by Ericsson kit.
“I find it’s a bit difficult to say we’re behind when I see no one ahead of us.”