Italy was reported to be preparing to ban China-based vendors Huawei and ZTE from participating in 5G rollouts in the country over security fears, following strong pressure for the US.
Citing unnamed sources, La Stampa reported Italy’s government is ready to use its “golden power” legislation to pull out of contracts already struck with the Chinese vendors, to avoid paying penalties.
Huawei and ZTE are actively involved with Italian operators in developing 5G. Huawei has been working with Telecom Italia and Fastweb to build networks and conduct pre-commercial 5G trials, and has also worked with Vodafone Italy.
ZTE, meanwhile, has worked with Wind Tre and Open Fiber.
However, La Stampa reported that Italy is caving to pressure from the US to ban the vendors over concerns they are using equipment to spy for the Chinese state.
Italy becomes the latest European country to be linked with a ban on Huawei, following reports that Germany, the UK, France and Norway are considering a similar move.
The US, Australia and New Zealand have already confirmed that China-based equipment vendors will not be allowed to participate in 5G infrastructure builds.
This week, Turkcell CEO Kaan Terzioglu urged countries not to act on uncorroborated claims regarding Huawei, while pledging to continue working with the vendor.Subscribe to our daily newsletter