China-based equipment vendor Huawei hit back at efforts to keep it out of the US infrastructure market, arguing its absence would harm competition, increase prices and, ultimately, delay deployments of 5G.
In a filing with the US Federal Communications Commission, the company noted: “As a result of the lack of competition, equipment prices in the US market in general tend to be about 20 per cent to 30 per cent higher than they are in other developed regions”, pointing to Europe as an example.
“Given the prospect of massive 5G investment and deployment over the next few years, additional competition in the provision of 5G infrastructure equipment could be of particular benefit to both US carriers and US consumers.”
It claimed eliminating current restrictions and allowing Huawei an opportunity to compete in the provision of infrastructure could “reduce the concentration of the industry, increase competition, reduce prices and encourage increased deployment by carriers”.
Huawei also noted it serves a number of smaller carriers in rural and remote areas in the US, with ten operators and associations offering support to Huawei in the filing.
In August, US President Donald Trump signed into law a new defence spending bill which includes a clause preventing government agencies and contractors from using equipment supplied by Chinese vendors including Huawei and ZTE. Australian politicians followed suit, prohibiting the vendors from participating in 5G rollouts due to national security fears.
Canadian officials last week reportedly declined to implement a similar ban on Huawei, as cyber security experts in the country believe it has sufficient protections in place to prevent any unauthorised hacking or spying.
Huawei reminded the FCC it generates 60 per cent of its revenue outside of mainland China and supports more than 500 operators across more than 170 countries. The vendor has long highlighted it had met national security guidance in Germany, Spain, Italy, the UK, Canada and New Zealand.