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Canada Caves to the US, Blocks Huawei 5G (Inference)

Huawei is the strong favorite of Canadian network builders, for good products and extraordinary support. It displaced the incumbents at Bell Canada years ago and has a joint “Living Lab” in Vancouver with Telus1. Huawei had already won the 5G contracts. It has a thousand researchers and spends a quarter billion dollars on Canadian R&D.

It was a government decision. Bell Canada told the Canadian Press, “Huawei has been a reliable and innovative partner in the past, and we would consider working with them in 5G if the federal government allows their participation.”

I infer that the Telus2 and Bell3 decisions to block Huawei from 5G is a political decision made under pressure from the U.S.. Canadians are insulted by the many Americans who think Canada is effectively ruled by the U.S., but Canada is deeply dependent.

Contrary to popular belief, Huawei no longer makes a habit of undercutting prices. Nokia underbid Huawei on recent Chinese contracts. Switching between vendors is a problem, however. The 5G gear of Ericsson, Nokia, and Huawei do not work well together—a serious failure of 3GPP standard making.

Ironing out the compatibility problems could require replacing existing equipment; UK telcos see a possible cost in the billions. But switching vendors should not make a major difference to users. Ericsson’s 5G technology is comparable to Huawei’s. Korea has 115,000 5G cells, some from Huawei and others from Ericsson and Samsung. There is no evident difference in performance.

The U.S. government has totally cracked the Nokia and Ericsson gear, possibly with direct cooperation. The same is probably true of the Chinese government, so the switch will not improve Canadian security.

By Dave Burstein, Editor, DSL Prime

Dave Burstein has edited DSL Prime and written about broadband and Internet TV for a decade.

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