German regulator against banning ‘any vendor’ from 5G as spectrum auction exceeds €5bn 


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The Bundesnetzagentur indicates it will not exclude Huawei from the country’s 5G, despite pressure from the Trump Administration.

The regulator’s president, Jochen Homann, told the Financial Times in an interview [subscription needed] that no equipment vendor should be specifically excluded, so long as it meets the security criteria it set out last month.

The US Government has applied pressure to European governments to exclude the Chinese company, which is widely credited as having the leading 5G equipment.

Complex situation

Against a backdrop of trade war that could escalate between the US and China, the US also accuses Huawei of being a security risk as a spy for the Chinese state, international sanction busting from trading illegally with Iran, industrial espionage and lying to the US authorities.

In March, the US ambassador to Berlin wrote to the German government that the US might reduce the level of co-operation regarding sharing intelligence between the two countries if Huawei equipment was included in the country’s 5G infrastructure.

The Chinese group denies all claims that its technology is a security risk, but some American allies – including Australia and New Zealand – have excluded Huawei equipment from some parts of their networks.

The German regulator said it has seen no evidence of Huawei being a security risk.

The European Union is against issuing a blanket ban against the Chinese vendor in Europe’s 5G infrastructure, despite US and some European countries’ urgings, while individual countries, such as the UK, continue the debate.

Spectrum auction

In the meantime, the German auction for 5G spectrum that started in March continues. There have been more than 180 rounds, so far, the total bids exceed €5.2 billion. Four operators are bidding, Deutsche Telekom, new entrant Drillisch, Telefónica and Vodafone.

The three established operators failed in their legal challenge against the terms and conditions set by the regulator for the auction.