News Feature | February 11, 2020

The Week in 5G: 2/11/2020 — China Salty Over EU Hesitation on its Equipment; Verizon Opens London 5G Lab

By Ed Biller


In 5G network equipment news, the Chinese embassy in Paris has released a statement claiming to be “shocked and worried” over reports that France could restrict or outright ban telecom giant Huawei’s contribution to the nation’s 5G rollout, despite the fact that French officials have said all companies would be treated fairly, reports Yahoo! Finance.

“If, due to security concerns, the French government truly does have to impose constraints on operators, it should establish transparent criteria around this and treat all companies equally,” said the embassy, adding a threat that, “we do not wish to see the development of European companies in China affected due to discrimination against Huawei and protectionism in France and other European countries.”

Norway is set to learn about that wrath firsthand after state telecom Telenor chose Ericsson, rather than Huawei, as its strategic technology partner for 5G networks, reports Computer Weekly.

China described the contract decision — prompted by Norwegian military intelligence service E-tjenesten’s calling Huawei 5G technologies “inherent security risks” last summer — an act of “deliberate discrimination” and hinted at a review of China’s free trade and direct investment relationship with Norway.   

The U.S., meanwhile, still is scrambling for a coherent 5G policy. Last week, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the U.S. government “should consider taking a ‘controlling stake’ in the European companies Nokia and Ericsson to thwart the global ambitions of China-based Huawei… directly or via a consortium of U.S. companies and private investors,” reports PBS.

U.S. VP Mike Pence quickly backtracked on that notion, telling CNBC that “the best way forward” on 5G will come from the private sector, and not from government interjection. Economic advisor to President Trump Larry Kudlow also pooh-poohed the idea, saying “the U.S. government is not in the business of buying companies, whether they’re domestic or foreign.”

In R&D news, Verizon this week opened a new 5G Lab & Studio in London — “first Verizon 5G-enabled development and collaboration space outside the United States,” touts a company press release, adding that the facility “showcases existing 5G use cases and experiences & offers co-creation space for 5G-enabled application development.”

In 5G tech news, Realme's European branch teased the release of its future flagship device, the Realme X50 Pro 5G, on Twitter and announced that it's attending the MWC for the first time this year,” according to a report by The X50 5G announcement event scheduled for Feb. 24.

In Finland, Nokia and SoftBank Corp. partnered on tests “demonstrating that non-standalone 5G technology can be used to commercially operate connected cars,” the company announced this week.

According to a press release, Japanese operator SoftBank “installed non-standalone 5G networks suited to connected vehicle testing at a Honda Research and Development site in Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido, Japan… [resulting in a trial they call] “…the first step in deploying Nokia’s 3GPP Release 15 compliant using commercial-level 256QAM high-order modulation and 4x4 MIMO radio equipment network equipment.”