Philip Lind, vice chairman of Rogers Communications, argued against allowing Huawei equipment in Canada’s 5G networks, as officials in the country continue to evaluate whether the Chinese vendor poses a security threat.
In a TV interview with BNN Bloomberg, Lind acknowledged Huawei kit is cheaper than its rivals’ “and quite sophisticated,” but warned close ties would compel it to comply with requests from the Chinese government.
“The fact is, they’re very, very close to the Chinese government. So for anyone to argue that they wouldn’t be compromised if the government said, ‘do this’ – they’d do it. They have to do it.”
He said the idea of Huawei gaining control over Canada’s communication system is “crazy,” adding “I don’t think they should be allowed to”.
Lind went on to urge Canadian officials to heed bipartisan warnings from US politicians, despite repeated protests from Huawei that their concerns are unfounded.
The comments come as the Canadian government continues a cybersecurity assessment of Huawei kit, the results of which are expected to be announced before federal elections in October.
Though Rogers Communications has used Huawei equipment in the past, it tapped Ericsson as the primary supplier for its 5G network. Rivals Bell Canada and Telus both previously partnered with Huawei on 5G trials, but have yet to select their 5G vendors.
During an earnings call in February, Bell CEO George Cope said the operator’s 5G plans would not be negatively impacted by a Huawei ban.
“We clearly recognise the issues of play and we’ll manage those appropriately…all those developments would be addressed within our traditional capital intensity envelope.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back